The staff members of a growing local medical practice have started the process of moving to a shiny new building on the far north side of Seymour.
“The location we were at just wasn’t big enough, and we’ve been very fortunate to be able to grow our practice by adding physicians,” Dr. Nicholas Lemming said Friday during an open house and ribbon cutting at Family Medical Center, 2026 N. Ewing St.
“This will make it much easier for patients to navigate in and out without being cramped on top of each other,” Lemming said.
The new Family Medical Center will open for business Monday after the move out of the Jackson Medical Building at Schneck Medical Center at 225 S. Pine St. is complete.
Lemming said the staff is ready to offer full primary care at the new location, and hopefully, it goes very well for the patients.
Besides Lemming, the six physicians who will work out of the center at State Road 11 and Enos Road are Dr. Pamela Snook-Tidd, Dr. John Fye, Dr. Bradley Morin, Dr. Aaron Frey, Dr. Martha Shirley and Dr. Samuel Borcherding, who joined in August.
“Four of us, Dr. Fye, Dr. Morin, Dr. Snook-Tidd and myself, decided a few years ago this might be a good move for the practice, so we’ve been working on this together,” Lemming said.
Family Medical Center has been a fixture in the community since its founding by Dr. David Stout in March 1981.
“We are very excited about the new building and have been very pleased with the whole process ever since the first planning meeting,” Lemming said. “We are even prouder of what it represents — the good fortune to grow our practice in a way that meets the needs of our patients in the community.”
Lemming said this has been a big project, and they are thankful for the direction of their project lead, Morin.
“The new building is just over 20,000 square feet total, and included in that square footage is about 2,600 square feet of shell space on the south end,” Morin said. “That space will be available to rent to future tenants, and the rest of that space is Family Medical Center.”
He said the new center will have more than twice the amount of space available at the Jackson Medical Building.
“We are now right around 50 employees as the practice has grown over the years,” Morin said. “Here at the new location, we’ve added on exam rooms, an employee break room and office space.”
Karen VonDielingen is the head triage nurse, and Morin said he believes she has been with the practice from the start or at least very early on working with Stout when his office was at 303 S. Walnut St.
During Friday’s open house, VonDielingen helped direct guests to the break room for cookies.
Snook-Tidd, who joined the medical practice in 1999, had the honor of cutting the ribbon during the ceremony.
“I’ve never done that before. It might be the best day of my life, the highlight,” she said with a smile. “I wanted to hold onto those scissors for a long time.”
The new building contains a large conference area for when the full staff gets together to talk about patient care issues, among other things.
“One day, we’d like to utilize this space for group visits for our patients that have similar conditions,” Fye said. “Like for patients between 50 and 60, we can have physicians, local pharmacists and nutritionists talk to them.”
Fye said the conference area also will work well for providers and staff education.
“We get all of the doctors together, and usually, one person is in charge to stand up and talk about the latest update on the treatment, of let’s say kidney disease,” he said.
Lemming said the center has been located in the same office where Stout practiced medicine.
“Dr. Stout moved there in the mid-’90s when it was him and one other physician, and since then, the practice has grown to seven doctors and four advanced practitioners,” Lemming said. “We have the same break room as when it was just Dr. Stout and his partner, so we just didn’t fit there anymore.”
He said years ago, all of their practitioners were delivering babies and still doing in-patient medical care, and it made a lot of sense to be at that location and rent some space from the hospital.
“About everybody other than OB has quit doing obstetrics at this point, and being so close to the hospital lost its advantages to us over the years, and we were in a space we had outgrown, so it was just time,” he said.
Lemming said he has a handful of patients who don’t live in Seymour, but they work here from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and didn’t have time to get back home to see their doctor, so they asked if they could see him instead.
“A lot of people are coming into town on Highway 11 from Walesboro, Jonesville and Columbus to work at either Aisin, Cummins or NTN, and we are now at a place they can easily access, so that’s another way we can provide service,” he said.
Friday will be the last day Family Medical Center will be at the old location.
“We will be moving the entire office in a weekend, and fortunately, our staff is all going to chip in to pack and move stuff,” Fye said. “We’re going to open with a full day Monday, so we want our nurses to be a part of that process so they’ll know where things are, and they’re all very excited to do that, and we have a great crew.”
Fye said there’s no way the doctors could do what they do if it wasn’t for their staff.