Pauls Valley Democrat
Establishing a business niche in a community often creates the best results if one can find a formula that is both fresh and in demand.
For Dr. Mary Kendrick, D.O., such an opportunity was awaiting right here in the form of Pauls Valley Urgent Care, a chance to not only be the first opportunity for her to go into business on her own, but also create a bridge between family practice and the emergency room.
Something she’s worked through for a majority of her career, she brings with her a personal touch while providing something that can help with medical issues that can be treated immediately when other options are delayed.
“We’re kind of excited about it,” said Kendrick. “Typically we’ll do things that can make a difference today.”
Picking a community was an easy choice for Kendrick as well, who was actually born here at Pauls Valley’s first hospital, spent a great deal of her years growing up in Lindsay and now lives only a couple miles from Wayne on a farm.
She also saw the potential and the need for an expansion of services in Garvin County where the closest thing to what the clinic will offer is otherwise a considerable drive away in either direction.
“It just leaves you with a sense it is a thriving community,” said Kendrick. “I looked at a lot of different places; I really felt there was a need in Pauls Valley.”
Lindsay additionally played a big role in why Kendrick was initially inspired to go into medicine by a physician there named Dr. E.B. Poole, who worked at the hospital near her home when she was a child.
A good friend of the family, it was his work at the osteopathic facility and how he interacted with people that fascinated her enough to pursue education from the medical school in Kansas City to a degree in Biology from East Carolina University as well as 8 years in the military handling duties like operational tours.
“He said, ‘Mary Sue, there are bigger things for you,’” said Kendrick. “He thought I was bright enough so he encouraged me to go to school.”
Since getting started, it has been a little over a couple of decades handling mostly urgent care through her compassion for patients and some family practitioner work, which led her to finally take the plunge and open the clinic. She does not so much see herself as competition against local doctors, instead hoping to offer relief for physicians who may have to schedule patients’ appointments out days ahead.
“I think it would be difficult to be an osteopath and not like people…I worked urgent care even as a resident. I like it,” said Kendrick.
“It’s one thing to want to be a good doctor, but I think the difference is if you really like people you’re going to have a good attitude about medicine.”
Making it a family affair, Kendrick’s husband Mike is even involved in the medical field through Air Evac where he regularly flies one of the company’s helicopters and helped get the spot ready along with the construction crew.
Through services like digital X-rays, emergency prescription refills or even blood analysis she wants the community to be involved in letting her know ways she can improve her services over time and for now her fellow crew includes Dr. Ali Zaza, M.D., two LPNs, a coordinator of medical services and a part time medical assistant.
“We’ll be paying close attention to how we can improve service,” said Kendrick, who hopes this also encourages people to use more services and buy more products locally as they travel less. “We want it to be efficient, quick, but we don’t want to be impersonal.”
The clinic is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. The clinic is located in the shopping center in front of Walmart at 2000 W. Grant.