Hammond-Henry expands with Orion clinic

Mindy Carls
For the Geneseo Republic
Nurse practitioner Mara Clarke, left, greets Betty Lievens, center, and Betty Malmen, right, at the open house on Thursday, Aug. 13, for the Hammond-Henry clinic in the former Orion vet clinic on Division Street and 10th Avenue.

Patients used to walk in on four legs when they visited the clinic at Division Street and 10th Avenue, Orion.Now they're coming in on two legs.

Dr. Gary Kampmann, who owned and operated a veterinary clinic in the red brick building on the corner, retired in 2013. He sold the building last February to Hammond-Henry Hospital Medical Group, Geneseo.On Thursday, Aug. 13, the clinic held an open house. When visitors came through the front door, one of the most common questions was, "Does it smell?"

No, it does not smell of veterinary medicine.

The remodeled building has a lab, an intake room for taking weight and height, a restroom for patients and another restroom for staff, a nurse's station, two exam rooms, a procedure room, a supply room and storage.And that's just on the south side of the building. On the north side are a break room and an office for two nurse practitioners, Mara Clarke and Heather Lowry, who will see patients.

There's plenty of room to expand.

Hammond-Henry chose Orion for its newest clinic because it's a growing community close to other clinics in Cambridge, Geneseo and Colona.

"We had quite a few patients who had to drive to Geneseo from Orion," he said.

Then Hammond-Henry learned the former vet clinic was available.

"It met our needs," said Mark Kuhn, Hammond-Henry CEO. "We gave Colton Anderson the reins, and he turned it into a reality. We're excited about being part of the community. We've had positive feedback so far."

Anderson is the director of clinic services for Hammond-Henry's seven locations outside the hospital itself.The clinic offers urgent care, scheduled visits, laboratory work and immunizations. Staff members provide family practice, women's health and chronic care services, as well as occupational services, including workers compensation, work physicals and blood tests.

Staff members are completing requirements to handle DOT certification, Lowry said.The clinic does not have an X-ray machine but can refer patients to another Hammond-Henry facility, Lowry said.

Clarke, a resident of Orion, is excited about living five minutes from work. She will be able to attend the activities of her sons, Will, Matt and Zach, who attend Orion schools.

Clinic staff won't be confined to the building. Anderson said they've been talking to Village President Jim Cooper about participating in the Orion Fall Festival's parade and car show.

While touring the remodeled building with his wife Janice, Gary Kampmann said the clinic is a great asset for the community. He predicted it will draw patients from Andover, Alpha and Sherrard, and he noted the vet clinic attracted Coal Valley residents.

The clinic opened Monday, Aug. 15. Hours are 8 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is (309) 526-3957.