A large medical facility held a ceremonial opening Thursday at Hazlet's Airport Plaza to applause from members of the local business community and government officials -- some of whom remarked it was the first ribbon-cutting they'd been to in Hazlet since Foodtown's in 2009, which has since closed.
Immediate Care is a spacious, sparkling medical walk-in facility that differs from competitors because is offers the combination of walk-in services for non-life threatening medical illness and injuries as well as comprehensive care for regular patients. It is open weeknight evenings until 9 p.m., Saturdays 9 to 5 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and even announced by Facebook and Twitter it would stay open on Thanksgiving.
Visitors who took a tour Thursday were astonished at how deep the bright white facility is, with its ten exam rooms, phlebotomy lab, x-ray room and private offices, in a space that has over the years has been known as a dollar store, a roller rink and a Grand Union supermarket.
To Medical Director Lisa Golding-Granado, M.D., the location is a dream come true. The doctor was looking to broaden her Union-Based medical practice in the same way West Coast medical offices are evolving. "I wanted to do urgent care, and I wanted to be available to the community for comprehensive services," she said. She chose to open on the Hazlet/Keyport border because it was just "a traffic light away from Union Beach" and an easy ride from Holmdel.
Immediate Care will be distinctive, Golding-Granado said, because "We are going to listen to the community's needs."
Already, there are proposals to offer shuttle busing to seniors living in the nearby apartment towers for sick and wellness visits, to provide memory scans, and physicals required by local schools and the neighboring Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
Managing Director Salvatore Cannizzaro said the center is ideally located, with more than 40,000 people within a five-mile radius.
He said the staff is strengthened by the participation of orthopedic specialist Steve Weintrab, DO; orthopedic surgeon Michael Cunningham, M.D.; and Stacie Stopen, a Family Nurse Practioner
Employees in colorful scrubs welcomed the guests, which included county freeholders, local mayors, Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce members, Bayshore Hospital representatives and the Hazlet Business Owners Association, among others.
Lauren Myers, a 24-year old medical assistant from Morganville, is among the 25 newly-hired employees.
She left a neurosurgeon's practice to work in this fast-paced office. "I love 'walk-in', you see something different every day," she said. Myers added she holds Medical Director Golding-Granado in high regard. "She's like a teacher to us."
Her colleague, Stacey Klich, 23 of Parlin, said she had as many as three job interviews coming out of Lincoln Tech, but chose to pursue the opportunity at Immediate Care.
"It's big," said Klich. "And it's a new beginning."