The Missouri State Fair time frame usually brings about some sort of health issue with me. The last two years of the fair I've lost my voice, and this year I injured my ankle. I did not get injured on the job either, just took a bad step and it hurt a lot. It appears that I have sprained it. On last Friday afternoon, it really started to bug me. I had countless people tell me I need to go get it checked out. Only one problem: in Sedalia after 5 p.m. on any given Friday, you can only go to to the Bothwell Regional Health Center Emergency Room for a checkup.

I have no problems with Bothwell Regional Health Center and the service they provide, but I am not the type of person that goes into ER because I have a low grade fever, minor aches, pains or whatever. This brings up the question: why doesn't Sedalia have an urgent care center?

Lisa Church, Director of Marketing and Communications for Bothwell Regional Health Center, informed me that they have just enhanced the patient experience by adding hours for FastTrak, which is designed for illnesses and injuries that may be serious but not an emergency. Bothwell Regional Health Center just renovated the area too, where the Sleep Studies used to be when it was located in the Hospital, next to ER. The hours go from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. after an extensive study showed that those were high patient hours.

I think FastTrak is a step in the right direction, and if utilized correctly can be a great asset to Pettis County, but I'm still not fond of having to have to go through ER to get there.

There is an urgent care center in Warrensburg that every now and again I utilize. The Community Health Partners in Warrensburg is open Monday-Friday until 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are a family practice, but operate on an urgent care basis too. I have gone in there for things like extreme allergies, aches and pains or whenever the family doctor can't get me worked in and I need to have relief. I would like to see more practices pick up this type of service to offer urgent care to the area.

Although I do believe people need to find a family doctor that works for them, an Urgent Care Center open 24 hours would be a welcome addition in a pinch. It seems to me the ER gets slammed from everything from coughs and sneezes to people who don't want to see a family doctor, to actual emergencies such as accidents.

I also understand the cost of a separate facility to run could be more costly in the area too, but maybe with the addition of family physicians and nurse practitioners, we could at least see the availability of more hours and weekend hours.

Do you think we should have an urgent care center in Pettis County?