New UIHC Facility to Increase Health Care Access for Southeast Iowa City Residents

UIHC’s new facility will provide more affordable medical care in an area where many residents must seek primary care services outside their communities.

Grace Kreber

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is on view Feb 14.

A new University of Iowa health facility specializing in primary care services is slated to open in 2025 in southeast Iowa City.

Although the project is in the early stages of development, the planned location of the facility will increase access to health care in an area of ​​the city with the fewest primary care options.

“To build strong neighborhoods and a healthy community, we must make sure everyone has access to high-quality health care,” Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said in a press release. “By bringing primary care services to this currently underserved neighborhood, we can make a positive impact on the health of our community for years to come.”

According to UIHC, the university has begun a request for proposal process, but has not decided on a developer or the exact location of the new facility in the selected area.

“By adding services in southeast Iowa City, we are increasing access and reducing barriers for people seeking high-quality care,” Kim Hunter, interim CEO and chief nursing officer at UIHC, said in a statement.

“There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who don’t have the time or mobility to drive across town,” Bowie said. “With the medical clinic on this side of town, you know, a lot of people will be very happy to know that medical care is easier to access.”

With no primary care options available nearby, some South County residents must consider weekday availability, childcare, transportation and other conflicts before seeking care.

To reach existing medical facilities, Bowie said some South County residents may have to cross the highway, which is not ideal for people.

“The only way to cross the highway is either by car, bicycle or foot, and many of our residents are not into walking and don’t have cars,” Bowie said. “I’m lucky to have a car. I’m also lucky that the employers I can work for are usually quite cooperative about needing time off if I’m unwell. This is definitely a privilege that not everyone can claim.

Audra M. King, another southeast Iowa City resident, also expressed her support for how the new facility will reduce challenges for residents in accessing health care.

“I think something physical in that part of town would open up so many doors for people who just have obstacles that maybe other people don’t have,” King said. “It really levels the playing field a little bit more by having a facility like this built into the community, versus expecting people to always be able to, you know, walk across the river or take the bus or find transportation or whatever yes it is.”

As a parent, King said having a primary care facility nearby would also make it easier if one of her children needed medical attention.

“Even though I have a primary care doctor that I feel very comfortable with, if there’s a facility that makes it easy for us to take the kids to the doctor when they get sick or, you know, get their primary care and then still be able to take them all to school faster so they miss less school, I’m all for it,” she said.

King, who works for the UI Carver College of Medicine in the Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum, added that while the facility’s closer location will benefit commuters, it could also make receiving health care less disruptive for residents .

“I feel like having something on the east side of town, kind of like having it on your turf, like you’re in your community where you feel comfortable and [that] it might make it a little bit easier for people to take advantage of the services,” she said.

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