NISKAYUNA — Three months, almost to the day, after one of the urgent care centers in town shut down, a new clinic will open on Balltown Road.
WellNow Urgent Care will host a preview event at its 445 Balltown Road location from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 1. It will open its doors to walk-in patients starting Nov. 2.
The Mansion Square storefront underwent months of renovation to meet the needs of its new tenant.
WellNow, until last week, was known as Five Star Urgent Care. The Niskayuna clinic will be the first to bear the WellNow name; other Five Star clinics will gradually be changed over to the new name.
Most of WellNow’s 19 clinics are in central and western New York, though two are farther east, in Hudson and Plattsburgh. The company states on its website that it has 15 more clinics in various stages of planning, all in central and western New York, except for one in Illinois.
The company’s growth is part of a nationwide, industrywide expansion of the urgent care model, which has gained favor as a less-expensive and often faster alternative to hospital emergency rooms.
Urgent care clinics are designed for mild to moderate conditions that don’t entail severe pain or serious injuries but are unpleasant enough that the patient doesn’t want to wait for an appointment to see the family doctor or a specialist.
Community Care Physicians bucked the trend on July 31 of this year, when it closed its urgent care clinic at 2125 River Road, 4 miles from the new WellNow Clinic. Community Care, which recently had completed a corporate merger, decided to consolidate operations with its urgent care clinic nearby in Latham.
But after the closure, Niskayuna residents still had Albany Medical Center’s large new EmUrgent Care facility on Upper Union Street and numerous urgent care facilities in neighboring communities to choose from.
The new WellNow clinic occupies a corner space formerly home to a Tilted Kilt restaurant location.
That chain has about 50 eateries from California to Maine; Niskayuna was the first Tilted Kilt in New York, opening in April 2016 and closing in January 2017.
During its short run here, Tilted Kilt — part of the “breastaurant” industry segment — made friends and critics among town residents.