dr. Aaron Gardner, right, discussing plans with contractors for the new Just 4 Kids Urgent Care opening at 190 Bullock Street in Pocatello in September. | Thanks to Emily Chantry
POCATELLO – This fall, a local pediatric clinic will open its first Pocatello location.
dr. Aaron Gardner with Just 4 Kids Urgent Care tells EastIdahoNews.com that the Pocatello clinic will open in late September in the building formerly occupied by Black Bear Diner at 190 Bullock Street.
“We really enjoy what we do. We work well together. We love the team we’ve built and we feel it’s a good thing… and we want to do more of it,” says Gardner.
Renovations are currently underway.
Business growth in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area, including the construction of the Northgate Interchange, prompted the opening of a clinic in Gate City, Gardner said. The new clinic will be close to the junction.
While there are already several medical providers in Pocatello, Gardner thinks Just 4 Kids will fill a certain niche in the market.
“We think we can help with that after-hours stretch and help keep kids out of the emergency department when they don’t have to be in the emergency department. We’re excited and think it’s going to be fun,” explains Gardner.
Gardner says he also likes the accessibility and convenience of this particular location.
“It’s right by the Walmart, it’s visible from the highway. So if you’re from Inkom, McCammon or a little further afield, it’s (easy to find) in a busy shopping area,” he says.
Spanning 5,000 square feet, the new clinic offers a larger space than the Idaho Falls location and will have the exact same structure and business model.
Just 4 Kids moves into the old Black Bear Diner in Pocatello. | Thanks to Aaron Gardner
Just 4 Kids first opened in March 2018 at 3320 South 25th East in Idaho Falls. The entire business model is designed with children in mind.
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Some of the methods used in caring for children include using compressed gas to inject a numbing drug through the skin rather than giving an injection with a needle. Staff may also give a child a lollipop with numbing medication if there is a mouth-related condition.
In the waiting room is a digitally projected football match on the floor. The game responds to the movement of the child’s feet.
There is also a remote-controlled jeep that allows children to drive from the front of the clinic to the patient rooms. An electronic system allows parents to jump online and save their place in line. As you walk through the door, your name will appear on the board indicating where you are in the cue. If it’s busy you’ll know before you get there.
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Less than a year after launching in Idaho Falls, the clinic partnered with Primary Children’s Hospital to add more specialized care for patients. Earlier this year, it expanded its services again with the state’s first pediatric clinic to provide home and hospice care. It’s now at 2431 Jafer Court, but Gardner and his team are planning to move to a larger space soon.
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“We foresee more growth in the region. We also follow emergency care (in Pocatello) with home care and hospice. That happens a few months after… when we get the emergency room going. That gives us a little more time to get our feet together,” says Gardner. “Probably by the end of the year.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gardner says healthcare demand is increasing this year and following an unusual trend. The typical cases that historically peaked in January or February are now emerging in eastern Idaho.
“January (had) unusually lower patient volumes and it has been steadily increasing month over month, until now,” he says. “I cannot give a conclusive explanation for it. RSV, which we didn’t see in January, emerged a few months ago in the southern United States in Florida. It has now made its way through the South to the Midwest, so I expect to see an increase in RSV (local) over the next month or two. ”
Gardner says he’s excited about opening this new clinic and working with new patients in eastern Idaho. Furthermore, he says he is looking forward to being part of the community.
“We really enjoy being a part of the community and being involved in the schools and humanitarian projects and things like that to really dig in and be a part of social events,” he says.
Just 4 Kids in Pocatello is open seven days a week from 10am to 10pm.