Last night, Oaklawn Family Medicine Express Care, located on Monroe Street in Albion, held an open house to celebrate their Monday, Feb. 14 opening. Community members, faculty and students of the college were invited to tour the facility and look at its resources, like a state-of-the-art X-ray machine.
A ribbon cutting ceremony, complete with giant scissors, was followed by speeches from Richard Lindsey, Oaklawn’s executive director of legal and community affairs, and Mauri Ditzler, president of Albion College.
The facility is open to the public but is also the new healthcare center for students of the college, replacing Student Health Services. This means students will have to pay out-of-pocket for the care provided.
“This grew out of a really simple idea which was, ‘How can Albion College partner to provide care for its students while providing expanded care options for the Albion community?’” said Linsey. “Combining the efforts of Oaklawn and Albion College seemed like a story that would write itself however it didn’t write itself there were a lot of people involved.”
Lindsey continued by thanking the numerous groups and individuals who helped make the facility possible, like Senator Mike Nofs, who helped acquire funding for the new facility, and Ditzler, who originally came to Lindsey with the idea for the project.
Ditzler focused on the importance of having healthcare as a priority to make the college and the community prosper.
“Colleges like ours hire young faculty and staff and coaches and say, ‘Come work at our institution,”’ said Ditzler. “Some of them are imagining they’re going to start a family. If there’s not healthcare they’re less likely to come to town and less likely to live in town.”
According to Ditzler, Oaklawn’s vision for a facility that would care for both members of the college and the community matched what he had in mind for the project. Now, about five years after Albion College approached Oaklawn about a healthcare expansion, the facility is finished and fully equipped to provide non-emergency health services.
Oaklawn’s new facility is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 8pm. It is located on the ground floor of Albion College’s Munger Apartments, right next to Biggby Coffee.