Mothers become experts when it comes to doctor’s offices. Why? Because we spend plenty of time there. Between appointments for ourselves, our kids, our husbands and sometimes our aging parents, we’ve seen PLENTY of clinics in our time.
But we can say that we have NEVER seen a clinic quite like the one that Mercy just opened in Bella Vista last month. We got a behind-the-scenes tour last week and were amazed at what we saw. Despite it’s huge size (it has more than 32,000 square feet), it feels light, bright, open and almost spa-like with its clean lines and cool modern color palette. The designers here have paid so much attention to detail that it might make your next trip to the doctor feel less like a chore and more like a treat.
It took 15 months and 13 million dollars to make the Bella Vista clinic a reality, but the time and money have more than paid off. The result has given families in and around Bella Vista not just a doctor’s office but a “medical home.” No more running to four or five different doctor’s clinics to get things done. Everything from pediatric care to cardiology to hearing tests are right here under this one roof. It also has a drive-thru pharmacy, which is a Godsend for mothers with sleeping babies in the car. (Since mothers are usually the ones driving people to and from doctor’s appointments, we LOVE that Mercy has made one central location where we can everything done without spending extra time in the car.)
We walked into the building through a special signature entry called “the lantern.” It’s a glass-encased foyer with soaring ceilings which floods the entire building with natural light. It’s called the lantern because it stays lit and serves as a constant welcome to those in need. The beams connecting the windows form crosses that echo the crosses within the Mercy logo, too.
One of the first things we noticed after walking into the clinic was that it doesn’t smell like a doctor’s office. It smells like your favorite coffee shop, thanks to the Callaghan’s coffee bar that’s nestled into the heart of the lobby and surrounded by comfy, curving sofas. It serves gourmet coffees, hot chocolate, smoothies and snacks.
And we love the story behind this quaint little coffee shop. It’s named in honor of the Callaghan family, who adopted Catherine McAuley in the early 1800s after both her parents died. After her adopted parents passed away, they left their money to Catherine who used it to open the first “House of Mercy” in Dublin, Ireland in 1827. The small clinic welcomed the poor and housed women and children in need. From that humble beginning, Mercy Hospitals and clinics have grown into one of the leading health care systems in the world. (Reminds us what a difference adoption can make!)
One of our pet peeves about any big building is how easy it is to get lost in the maze of hallways. But it’s truly simple in this clinic. As soon as we walked in, we saw a big sign telling us which suite to go to for different services. No more wandering around and asking receptionists to help you find the right room.
Once you check in at the reception desk (we like the cute little “welcome” sign they have there), you’ll be in a bright hallway lined with exam rooms. In the family practice area, we also met Kandi Mounts, who is a chaplain at Mercy. She and the other chaplains at Mercy offer counseling to patients who have emotional needs as well as physical ones. This new counseling service within the clinic was a new pilot program for Mercy but it has been so well-received and so effective that it has now spread throughout the entire Mercy system.
After talking with and sometimes praying with patients, chaplains give them a beautiful prayer shawl (handmade by Mercy volunteers) that they can take home and wrap up in whenever they need to be reminded of God’s love and comfort.
We’ll have more info about the services in this multi-specialty building in another post, so check back in the Healthy Mama category for more info about what the new Bella Vista Mercy clinic is offering in pediatrics, cardiology, endocrinology, urology, gastroenterology, obstetrics, gynecology, imaging (X-rays and MRIs), primary care and more.