Walk-in clinic opens at local Haggen

Published on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 by Tara Nelson

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< Nurse practitioner Patty Faulkner, l., and Dr. Edwin Stickle offer a range of services to walk-in patients at FirstStop Clinic in Ferndale.

Blaine and Birch Bay residents needing a quick medical fix now have more options when it comes to physician visits.

Dr. Edwin Stickle opened FirstStop Clinic inside the Ferndale Haggen five months ago, offering walk-in patients a wide range of services including stitches, laboratory work and urinalysis.

“It’s a relatively new concept,” he said. “You don’t need to get out of your car twice. You can do your shopping, doctor and pharmacy all in one visit.”

Stickle said because of the small size of the clinic – 400-square feet – and the low overhead, he is able to keep costs reasonable. A standard walk-in visit is $55, he said, often less than a co-pay on a regular doctor visit and patients receive immediate service.

“At least half of the patients I see have regular doctors who can’t see them for two weeks or more,” he said.

“There are some things we don’t do. Such as if you need a cast put on or if you are having chest pains, by all means, you should go to the emergency room. But if you have an injury or you’ve been sick, it makes sense to come here.”

Stickle brings 13 years of experience to the practice after working as a partner in the Physicians Care Family Medicine clinic in Sedro-Woolley.

His nurse practitioner, Patty Faulkner, brings more than 20 years of medical experience to the clinic as a registered nurse for Walgreens drug stores in Chicago, where they operated similar in-store clinics.

“It’s a great concept,” she said. “We’re not here to replace the family physician but to supplement patients’ medical care. I once treated a child whose mother would have had a $75 co-pay at the emergency room and they would have had to wait six hours.”

FirstStop Clinic is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday and closed Saturday and can accommodate as many as 20 patients per day.