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Thursday, May 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesKEATING CLINIC TO GET SECOND M.D., EXTEND HOURS

KEATING CLINIC TO GET SECOND M.D., EXTEND HOURS

St. John will get a second full-time physician for the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic in January, and in connection with his arrival the clinic will extend its hours weekdays to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and add Saturday hours from 8 a.m. to noon.
Dr. Norbert Straub will join Dr. Elizabeth Barot at the clinic for three months, initially. Recruitment efforts are under way to provide another physician at the end of March, when Straub must return to the University of Wisconsin to meet prior commitments.
While the need for a second physician at the clinic has been widely recognized in the St. John community for some time, it became formalized, in a way, through the findings of a survey taken on the island this fall to determine public opinion about the clinic services.
A majority of 174 St. John residents who took part in the survey said they consider the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic their resource for primary outpatient medical care as well as for emergency services. And in their collective opinion, the facility is clean and comfortable.
These were among the findings of the survey conducted in October for the clinic's newly formed advisory board and administrators at the Roy L. Schneider on St. Thomas. Earlier this year, as part of the conversion to semi-autonomy, the clinic was brought in under the management of the St. Thomas hospital.
The island-wide health care survey was conducted in October via the distribution of 2,000 questionnaires at public buildings, churches and government offices around St. John. Survey directors said they wanted to know more about how island residents use their primary health care facility. The 174 they got back completed for evaluation represents "a little less than 10 percent, which is what you typically find in these surveys," Schneider Hospital chief executive officer Eugene Woods said.
One thing the survey results made clear, Woods said, was an appreciation for the overall cleanliness of Keating Clinic. Respondents said they found the facilities clean and comfortable. They also said that, for the most part, the emergency room at Keating is where they turn when illness and injuries require immediate attention.
"A majority of the outpatients, or residents of St. John, use it as the place where they receive primary care. That has implications for the future in terms of what we should look to adding at the center," Woods said.
The emphasis on primary care needs provided an impetus for administrators to recruit an additional physician and, as soon as that doctor is on board, extend clinic hours into the evening and on weekends. The clinic is now open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday only. The emergency room is open around the clock every day.
Woods said the plan was implemented to add another physician to the staff not only because of the survey findings, but because St. John has been down to one attending physician, Barot, at the clinic since last summer. During his three-month tour, Straub will have the opportunity to decide whether he would like to work on St. John permanently.
The survey was also intended to determine the public's awareness of the various services available through the clinic. "There we found a mixed bag," Woods said. Among those respondents were most familiar with were the emergency services and the women's health clinic.
Administrators said once new staffing is in place, they hope to increase marketing efforts to let St. Johnians know about the other health services available to them at the clinic.

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St. John will get a second full-time physician for the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic in January, and in connection with his arrival the clinic will extend its hours weekdays to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and add Saturday hours from 8 a.m. to noon.
Dr. Norbert Straub will join Dr. Elizabeth Barot at the clinic for three months, initially. Recruitment efforts are under way to provide another physician at the end of March, when Straub must return to the University of Wisconsin to meet prior commitments.
While the need for a second physician at the clinic has been widely recognized in the St. John community for some time, it became formalized, in a way, through the findings of a survey taken on the island this fall to determine public opinion about the clinic services.
A majority of 174 St. John residents who took part in the survey said they consider the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic their resource for primary outpatient medical care as well as for emergency services. And in their collective opinion, the facility is clean and comfortable.
These were among the findings of the survey conducted in October for the clinic's newly formed advisory board and administrators at the Roy L. Schneider on St. Thomas. Earlier this year, as part of the conversion to semi-autonomy, the clinic was brought in under the management of the St. Thomas hospital.
The island-wide health care survey was conducted in October via the distribution of 2,000 questionnaires at public buildings, churches and government offices around St. John. Survey directors said they wanted to know more about how island residents use their primary health care facility. The 174 they got back completed for evaluation represents "a little less than 10 percent, which is what you typically find in these surveys," Schneider Hospital chief executive officer Eugene Woods said.
One thing the survey results made clear, Woods said, was an appreciation for the overall cleanliness of Keating Clinic. Respondents said they found the facilities clean and comfortable. They also said that, for the most part, the emergency room at Keating is where they turn when illness and injuries require immediate attention.
"A majority of the outpatients, or residents of St. John, use it as the place where they receive primary care. That has implications for the future in terms of what we should look to adding at the center," Woods said.
The emphasis on primary care needs provided an impetus for administrators to recruit an additional physician and, as soon as that doctor is on board, extend clinic hours into the evening and on weekends. The clinic is now open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday only. The emergency room is open around the clock every day.
Woods said the plan was implemented to add another physician to the staff not only because of the survey findings, but because St. John has been down to one attending physician, Barot, at the clinic since last summer. During his three-month tour, Straub will have the opportunity to decide whether he would like to work on St. John permanently.
The survey was also intended to determine the public's awareness of the various services available through the clinic. "There we found a mixed bag," Woods said. Among those respondents were most familiar with were the emergency services and the women's health clinic.
Administrators said once new staffing is in place, they hope to increase marketing efforts to let St. Johnians know about the other health services available to them at the clinic.