For the fourth year in a row, East Tennessee Children's Hospital is opening a new urgent care location, this time in Blount County.

Starting Monday, Oct. 18, Blount Outpatient Center for ages newborn to 21 will be open at 352 Fountain View Circle in Alcoa, according to a press release.

"Children's Hospital is always looking for ways to expand services to meet the health care needs of the area's children," Erica Estep, public relations manager, said. "More than 11,000 children from Blount County were treated at East Tennessee Children's Hospital in 2020."

The center will serve as a place to take children for minor accidents or illnesses when pediatric clinics are closed. It will be open from 4-11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-11 p.m. on weekends. 

The clinical team will work with the child's primary doctor by providing them with a treatment summary within 24 hours of the urgent care visit.

The Blount County location will also be used as an outpatient clinic for children who need more specialized care than a pediatrician's office can provide. 

On a typical day, Estep said, the center will have one or two physicians, a radiology technician, front desk and admitting staff and one or two physician assistants or registered nurses. The urgent care buildings also have six exam rooms, she added. 

Three other urgent care centers are located in west Knoxville, Powell and Sevierville. One was opened each year from 2018 to 2020. 

Estep said in the three centers they have, patient volumes during the weekend is higher, so they generally have two doctors staffed instead of one, like on most weeknights. 

In September, Estep said, the three urgent care centers each averaged about 40 patients per night. 

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