By Nathan Ham
For several years, residents in Banner Elk have been hoping to have an urgent care clinic in the town to make it easier and quicker to receive medical attention if needed. They will soon have that option available as Ballad Health Medical Associates will be opening an urgent care clinic at 108 Park Avenue in Banner Elk next to the Banner Elk Pharmacy on July 13.
According to Banner Elk resident Jim Swinkola, this has been in the works for a couple of years and will finally be a much-needed addition to the community.
This will be Ballad Health’s first health service location in North Carolina. All of their other locations are in Tennessee and Virginia.
The urgent care will be able to treat cold and flu viruses, ear and eye infections, headaches, insect and animal bites, minor burns, cuts and rashes, sinus infections and strep throat, sprains, strains, and minor fractures and urinary tract infections. They will also be offering flu shots, sports physicals, and school physicals. X-ray capabilities will be available on-site.
Ballad Health and Lees-McRae College started this relationship to help make sure students and faculty have nearby urgent care medical attention and bring additional doctors and nurses to the area, according to Blaine Hansen, the Vice President for Planning and External Relations at Lees-McRae College.
“Lees-McRae is proud to be a part of Avery County so we wanted to make sure that not only did our students have access to good healthcare but so did the community at large,” Hansen said at a breakfast Thursday morning.
The hours for the clinic will be from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
If you go to the urgent care facility and it turns out to be something a little more serious than what they normally treat, then the staff will stabilize you and have you transported to a nearby hospital.