Ramona McCallister August 23 2022

The Bend practice is expanding to Prineville and will be seeing patients beginning Oct. 3

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOUNTAIN MEDICAL CARE – The Mountain Medical Urgent Care in Bend is located at 1302 NE Third St., Bend. The Prineville office will be located at 198 NE Combs Flat Road, Suite 110, and will be in between Central Oregon Eyecare and Clinic Pharmacy. The Prineville office will open on Oct. 3 to begin seeing patients at their family practice and urgent care. Walk-ins are welcome. At right is Dr. Christopher DiGuilio, left Tonya Busack.

Prineville will soon gain an independent urgent care and family care practice.

Mountain Medical Family and Urgent Care will offer family medicine and urgent care and will be open for patients on Oct. 3. They will be located at 198 NE Combs Flat Road. The facility will be taking up residence in the old Direct Care clinic between Central Oregon Eyecare and Clinic Pharmacy.

Their practice has been discussing the possibility of opening an office in Prineville for the past couple of years. When Direct Care, located next to Clinic Pharmacy, closed and moved away, they decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

“We saw a need for a community that has no urgent care,” Mountain Medical Clinic Manager Tonya Busack explained. “We thought that would be a good location to try and open up and serve the locals down there.”

She added that Mountain Medical is the last independently owned urgent care facilities in Central Oregon.

The clinic has another location in Bend, and they began the practice there in 1986.

Busack is also a partner in the clinic and began working at Mountain Medical when she was 17 years old. She began at the front desk and worked her way to being a licensed x-ray technical and a medical assistant. She also manages billing, human resources and electronic records.

“She is the engine of our practice. It is a remarkable story that she began answering the phones at the front desk as a young lady,” added Dr. Christopher DiGiulio, M.D., the lead physician of the Prineville Clinic. He is also a co-partner of the practice with Busack. “Now she is an owner of the practice. It is an American story of hard work, dedication and good things that come when you hang in there.”

Although DiGiulio is the lead physician working at the Prineville office, they have five providers who will rotate through the practice on a weekly basis. They will have both female and male providers. The clinic will originally be open three days per week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Once they build up a clientele, they will add another day.

“Ultimately, our goal is to be open five days per week, and if we get busy enough, we will add one half-day on Saturday, eventually,” said Busack.

DiGiulio added that the volume and community support will dictate how many days they are open.

DiGiulio has 25 years of Board Certification medical experience and has been certified since 2001. He began as a partner in a family practice and later opened and managed an occupational medical clinic. He then became Chief of Medicine for the Oregon Department of Corrections.

“We see patients from birth until death. A family practice practitioner is trained, authorized and capable of seeing newborns to geriatrics,” noted DiGiulio.

Mountain Medical manages chronic illnesses for patients and provides preventative care and health maintenance care.

“Newborn well child checks, making sure the children get the proper vaccines, making sure they are reaching their developmental milestones and making sure they are growing properly,” DeGuilio said. “We discuss safety issues like bike helmets and seat belts — all the way through the arc of life in taking care of adolescents and discussing those important health preventative measures.”

He added that as folks become elderly, they also take care of chronic diseases as they develop in that age group, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes and thyroid disorders. They also discuss preventative health maintenance strategies and managing their chronic issues.

“Family practitioners kind of do a lot and do it all. We are not specialists in anything, but we do get involved with almost everything.”

He concluded that his intention is to get courtesy privileges for visiting patients in the St. Charles hospital.

“They can read the charts, they can discuss care with other physicians, but they are not actively caring for the individual in the hospital,” DiGiulio noted.

Hospitalists are people in the hospital who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients, and St. Charles has those types of physicians and specialists that do that, DiGiulio emphasized.

Mountain Medical will be completely outpatient-based, but DiGiulio indicated his goal is to have courtesy privileges that will allow him to check on and visit patients who are hospitalized.

“Our main thrust in Prineville is to open up a family practice. We are hoping as time goes on and the community continues to grow to provide urgent care, and we hope that will grow over time. Our primary goal is to establish a family practice, first and foremost, in Prineville, along with urgent care services.”

He added that they will be able to accept urgent visits from day one, but their largest goal is to build a family practice.

The urgent care also provides occupational health, including pre-employment drug screens, physicals, and wellness and prescreening tools for employees for an assortment of employers. If patients need larger services in occupational health, they can still go to Bend. The Prineville clinic also provides post-accident drug screening, services for injured workers — including fit-for-duty exams and return-to-duty exams for companies.

In addition to occupational health, they provide the service to CDL drivers of an annual or bi-annual medical exam (DOT physical).

“We will be providing that service in town. A lot of people have to leave Prineville to have those exams done,” said DiGiulio. He added that they are available on a walk-in basis, and all their providers are certified to do the exams.

Mountain Medical also has vaccines required for travel, such as yellow fever vaccine. They are the only clinic in Central Oregon who is certified to administer the yellow fever vaccine.

For patients who have previously seen Lindsey McKay at Direct Care, they can come into Mountain Medical in Prineville and their patient data can transfer to their clinic. Their clinic contracts with most major medical insurance companies.

Mountain Medical Family and Urgent Care

Address: 198 NE Combs Flat Road, STE 110

Contact: 541-388-7799

Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lead Family Physician: Dr. Christopher DeGuilio, M.D.

Office Manager: Tonya Busack