Valdosta, GA – SGMC knows that common illnesses and injuries often require same-day medical care. This situation can be frustrating when the Emergency Department appears to be full and your physician’s office is closed. To address this situation, South Georgia Medical Center opened SGMC Urgent Care on Saturday, July 18 at 10am.The facility is located at 4280 North Valdosta Road formerly the SGMC Smith Northview Campus Emergency Department. SGMC Urgent Care offers medical care for non-emergent conditions for persons aged 24 months to adult. This patient-centered approach to care is faster and costs much less than an ER visit. No appointment is necessary. The hours of operation are 10am to 9pm seven days a week. SGMC Urgent Care is staffed by affiliated, board-certified physicians and other experienced healthcare professionals. The night and weekend hours provide accessible, convenient care for common non-emergent conditions including urinary tract infections, childhood illnesses, flu, sore throats, viruses, cuts and burns, dehydration and nausea, ear and eye infections, respiratory infections, rashes, sprains and minor fractures.The Urgent Care Association of America reports that more than 8,000 urgent and immediate care centers across the country have opened in the past few years and most are operated by not-for-profit health systems like SGMC. The increase in urgent care facilities is part of a national shift to address rising healthcare costs and overcrowding in emergency rooms. Patients will now have another choice to go to a more appropriate care setting for non-emergent conditions. According to Chief Medical Officer Kimberly Megow, MD, patients will benefit because care is coordinated within the SGMC health system. “The opportunity to receive medical care at the onset of illness in a faster, less-expensive setting will improve healthcare access and result in better overall community health. If a patient comes to Urgent Care and needs ER care, existing provider relationships and referral patterns are already in place to provide this continuity of care.” “Healthcare delivery models in the United States are rapidly changing and the timing was appropriate for SGMC to adopt new models of care that benefit patients,” said CEO Randy Sauls. “SGMC Urgent Care will provide area residents a lower cost, high quality alternative when non-emergent care is required.”SGMC Urgent Care accepts private insurance, self-pay, Medicare and Medicaid. Patients with limited resources will not be turned away and financial counselors will be available to talk to patients who need assistance. Please visit www.sgmc.org/urgent to learn more. If you believe you have a serious condition or medical emergency call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.