Regions Economic Development: Selma Urgent Care Brings Help to a Community in Need
Business provides urgent healthcare to four counties in Alabama’s Black Belt region.
FEB. 18, 2014 - Sagar Vadlamudi and Dr. Sai Namburu liked everything about Selma from the first time they laid eyes on the small Alabama town. It had distinctive restaurants, historic buildings, iconic landmarks and good people who loved the pace of life deep within a region known as the state’s Black Belt, a name given due to the area’s fertile topsoil.
Having lived there for several years, with strong ties to the community, Namburu and Vadlamudi also realized Selma was lacking something important: access to healthcare.
Along with Dr. Thang Q. An, their partner at Vaughn Urgent Care 40 miles away in Montgomery, the trio decided to fill the void.
“Both my partners were ER physicians and felt the need for immediate care to bridge the gap between the overloaded ERs and the overbooked primary care physicians,” Vadlamudi explained. “We realized that unless you had an open primary care physician, you had to drive to Montgomery, Prattville or Birmingham for immediate medical care short of major trauma. Because of that, we felt there was need for more medical care in Selma.”
Thanks to financing through Regions’ Economic Develpment Loan Pool, Vadlamudi’s team purchased a building and established Selma Urgent Care LLC in the heart of Dallas County, providing seven-days-a-week healthcare access to an area that lacked options. Since opening, Selma Urgent Care has hired 13 full-time employees and another three part-time employees.
“We are serving a bigger community than just Selma,” Vadlamudi said. “We are getting patients from across Dallas County, as well as neighboring counties Chilton, Wilcox and Perry.”
Upon establishing the loan pool in February of last year, Regions earmarked $1 billion to provide economic development capital and support job growth in the state of Alabama in 2013. In September, Regions exceeded its billion-dollar commitment. Preliminary estimates show loan pool activity topped $1.3 billion by the end of the year. Based on initial data provided by participants, loan pool financing is supporting approximately 2,000 new jobs in addition to existing jobs at more than 350 companies and entities throughout the state.
“Our clients had extensive experience as emergency room doctors and knew there was a large demand for urgent medical care in our area,” said Will Hickman, a Regions Business Banker based in Montgomery. “We were able to capitalize on their experience and knowledge to form these new facilities. With the help of Sagar Vadlamudi, who handles all of the administrative duties as well as being a partner at Selma Urgent Care they've been able to carve out a nice niche for themselves in a very short period of time.”
With funding from Regions, Vadlamudi’s team has also proposed Clanton Urgent Care in nearby Chilton County, which recently lost its only hospital. When plans are complete, Clanton Urgent Care will open next door to where the hospital stood for decades.
“We are negotiating and plans are on the board for Clanton,” Vadlamudi said. “We hope to have plans finalized there soon.”
Vadlamudi said his partners are confident that with the financing from Regions they can establish several more urgent care clinics to fill the gaps in healthcare delivery across the state of Alabama.