Columbus Walmart, NM Clinic to team up

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

COLUMBUS – Tupelo-based North Mississippi Clinics is expanding into new territory and opening a clinic inside the Columbus Walmart.
“It’s another way to improve access,” said David Barber, chief executive for the 33-clinic system that is part of the North Mississippi Medical Center family.
The clinic, which will treat children and adults but not infants, will open Monday and is the first of its kind in a Mississippi Walmart.
The clinic will be staffed seven days a week by nurse practitioners and cross-trained personnel. Physicians from North Mississippi Clinics in Columbus will serve as the medical oversight for the nurse practitioners.
“It’s strictly designed as an acute care for a limited number of conditions” like colds, sore throats and minor wounds, said Dr. Ken Harvey, clinic system medical director. “Our patients are seeking convenience.”
North Mississippi Clinics and Walmart have been discussing the possibility of in-store clinics over the past two years, Barber said. Columbus was chosen because the store could accommodate a clinic and there was a need in the community.
“It doesn’t have a lot of primary care providers considering how large the population it,” said New Albany family physician Dr. Steve Shirley, who helped lead the discussions with Walmart for the clinic system.
Walmart has added basic health care services at stores around the country.
“North Mississippi Health Services is a well-known and respected health care provider in this area, so our customers will receive quality care from people they know and trust,” Bruce Shepherd, Walmart’s director of health care innovations, said in a press release.

Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.