Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joins staff members at the new Xpress Med Urgent Care at the ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility at 447 Sumner Ave. on March 4.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

SPRINGFIELD — City officials are lauding a local doctor’s investment in health care in the Forest Park neighborhood with the recent establishment of Xpress Med Urgent Care.

The new urgent care center, located near the X intersection, celebrated its ribbon cutting on March 4. Mayor Domenic Sarno was on hand to welcome CEO and Medical Director Dr. Mansoor Anwer Zaidi and his staff, and to tour the clinic.

“I want to thank Dr. Mansoor Anwer Zaidi for his continued belief and investment in our community.” Sarno said. “Urgent care and medical facilities are desperately needed for our neighborhoods so that our residents have easy access to receive the medical care that they need. Dr. Zaidi has over 23 years of experience and the opening of this new urgent care facility on Sumner Ave. will provide family care, primary care and more for our residents of all ages.”

Co-administrator Susanita Carvajal, “We are excited to serve this community and offer urgent care services to Springfield and surrounding communities. We will serve all ages including pediatrics and geriatrics.”

Xpress Med Urgent Care fills a void for those residing near the X and in the surrounding neighborhood, which did not previously have ready access to emergent care. Two urgent care facilities currently operate in close proximity to the intersection of Allen and Cooley streets in the city’s Outer Belt neighborhood and a third is in the same area near Allen Street and Bicentennial Highway, approximately three miles away from the X. Baystate Health closed its urgent care office located at the Longmeadow Shops on Bliss Street in March, eliminating another option within four miles.

Mercy Medical Center’s Emergency Department is between approximately 3.5 and 4 miles from the neighborhood, depending on the route of travel, and Baystate Medical Center is roughly 4.5 miles away.

Caring Health Center has a location at the busy intersection and has provided community medical services for some time but does not specialize in emergency medicine.

Beate Bolen, president of the Forest Park Civic Association, said she was grateful for the primary care offered by Caring Health at 532 Sumner Ave.

“The Caring Health Center has been there quite some time, and they do a great job with the services they offer,” she said, but added that there has been a longstanding lack of care for minor emergencies.

“[Urgent care is] definitely something that is necessary and welcome. We’ve definitely felt the lack of it,” Bolen said.

The neighborhood has been without urgent care for years. “There may have been one on Sumner Avenue, further down, but certainly not in our neighborhood since I’ve lived here — that’s 14 years. Having something that people can walk to or is a short drive will be very helpful,” Bolen said.
Bolen said that with no other local options, people go to the emergency department at Baystate Heath for issues that could be treated at an urgent care facility. “For some things people go to the emergency room for, [Xpress Med Urgent Care] will definitely help,” she said. Unfortunately, that solution comes with its own issues. Bolen said that the hospital’s emergency department is overcrowded and wait times to be seen can be up to eight hours.

The addition of Xpress Med Urgent Care to the neighborhood offers more than local, convenient treatment. “One of the things people look for when they move somewhere is ‘What is the health care like?’ So, it’s good, not just for our immediate health, but for the neighborhood as a whole,” Bolen said.

Ward 6 City Councilor Victor Davila called the new clinic “a welcoming sight to our neighborhood,” noting the fact that it is located on a bus route as an additional benefit for residents.

Xpress Med Urgent Care will offer a litany of services, including basic procedures, urine analysis, bedside imaging, basic laboratory studies, viral testing, laceration repair and orthopedic care.

Zaidi was most recently an emergency room physician at Holyoke Medical Center where he worked since 2008. He has practiced medicine for more than two decades with board certification in emergency medicine with a fellowship in geriatric care. He previously worked at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and Wing Hospital in Palmer prior to Baystate Health’s acquisition of the facility.

Zaidi told the City Council at a September 2023 meeting at which he gained approval for the clinic that the 4,000-square-foot location would have nine exam rooms — five at the front of the location for urgent care services and four in the rear for clinical specialists such as physical therapists, cardiologists and audiologists with whom he will partner to provide comprehensive care.

The facility, which includes an in-house X-ray machine and labs, is open seven days a week. Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It would be like a full-fledged mini emergency room,” Zaidi told the council at the time. “I’ve seen other emergency rooms. I’ve been working and will be working tonight and when I go to the ER, I’ve seen patients waiting for eight hours, nine hours for small lacerations. I think that if I provide the service here in this area, it would be a great help for the city.”

Zaidi also said he would accept all insurances as well as Medicaid and Medicare.

More information can be found at xpressmedurgent-care.com or by calling 413-726-9575.

Managing Editor Chris Maza contributed to this report.

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