Walt Carnahan

Dr. Walt Carnahan looks on during introductions during the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new Methodist Primary Care clinic on Getwell Road in Southaven. Carnahan is the primary physician for the new facility that started taking patients on Monday.

As of Monday, Methodist Medical Group-Primary Care started seeing patients at its brand new location of 5908 Getwell Road in Southaven.

Dr. Walt Carnahan, with more than 20 years experience in DeSoto County, will be the primary care physician at the new facility, which will be just south of Nail Road on Getwell.

It is a move from its previous location of 7900 Airways Blvd. in Southaven but will provide more space to see patients, said Methodist official Marigay Miller, who stated the building was constructed with the expectation of future growth.

“It’s built out to 12,000 square feet,” Miller said. “Six-thousand of it is shelled in and the remaining 6,000 square feet is built out for primary care. We will determine in the future what the remaining 6,000 will need to be, determined on community need.”

The primary care clinic adds to the ever-growing presence of Methodist Healthcare, which five years ago opened the Methodist Olive Branch Hospital at 4250 Bethel Road.

For Carnahan and his team, the 6,000 square feet they will work with initially already will seem like more than appropriate for their needs.

“They’re moving from 3,500 square feet to 6,000, or from six exam rooms to 17,” Miller said. “It’s going to offer more access to primary care, which we know is a shortage in the community already. It will give us the opportunity to add additional providers as well.”

“Methodist had looked at expansion and we have outgrown our facility where we were currently located so I think this is a prime location,” Carnahan added. “There’s lots of growth in DeSoto County and we’re expecting a lot of demand and need for primary care providers here. I think it was a great choice and a great location.”

A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held Friday ahead of Monday’s official opening of the primary care location at a spot Miller said was important for Methodist to locate.

“It was very strategic as we were looking for the property because we wanted to make sure that we had enough space and enough parking that was adequate that was going to be in an area that was accessible without a lot of traffic issues,” Miller said. “We feel like this is off an offshoot of Goodman Road, so it’s very accessible but will give us access to Olive Branch and Southaven patients.”

Carnahan will be assisted by two part-time nurse practitioners and one full-time physician assistant that are all part of the staff. They will have access to state of the art technology, such as what are called Emergency Medical Records, or EMRs.

“EMR is systemwide,” Miller pointed out. “There’s over 100 of our physicians who will have the same EMRs, so if you can’t be seen by your doctor you can be seen by someone that has your medical records. That’s probably one of the biggest things that we have.”

Miller also pointed to digital x-ray availability and she said Methodist hopes at some point to bring specialists into the practice so it will be convenient for patients. They will be able to see a cardiologist or a general surgeon at the Primary Care location without need of extra travel to a hospital.

Carnahan said he is glad to be able to provide these enhanced medical services in DeSoto County.

“It’s going to expand what we can do and the number of folks that we’re going to see for DeSoto County,” Carnahan said. “We have a great place to live. You feel safe here and you have access to any kind of shopping you want, golf, hunting and all of the things that I enjoy doing in my off-office hours.”

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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