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Folsom native leads new urgent care clinic

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Robert Bixler has had a key role in the opening of the new Sutter Medical Group Urgent Care Clinic in Folsom.

The Folsom native is the department chief of urgent care for Sutter and is excited to be a part of a top-notch facility in the town he grew up in.

Bixler’s home clinic is in Auburn, but he plans to primarily work in the Folsom clinic the first month, he said, and intermittently after.

With his parents local and his roots in the community, he had no hesitation serving his hometown.

Not only is Bixler a Folsom High School graduate, he also was the head coach of the city-wide recreational swim team, the Sea Otters, and the head coach of Folsom High's swim team. After he completed two years at Sierra College, he continued his education elsewhere, he said.

“I was actually the paper boy for the Folsom Telegraph in junior high,” Bixler said. “I would get my bag on and ride my bike around the neighborhoods tossing papers.”

Bixler said he couldn’t be happier to be able to come back home and be able to help local residents with their medical needs.

“It’s nice to see that Sutter firmly decided to put a flag in the community and provide care in this manner, as well as recognizing that urgent care represents a broader scope, but more availability,” he said. “We are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, so for Sutter patients, there is always a clinic open in Folsom.”

With the clinic officially open since Dec. 12, there are many services it's able to provide, such as examinations, labs, tests and more. The clinic does not offer X-rays, but patients will be referred to the imaging center on Creekside Drive, just a mile away, Bixler said.

“Since we are broadly involved throughout the network, after I see you, I can send a note to your primary care doctor immediately, so they will know you were seen and what you were seen for so they can follow up with you,” he said.

The facility will be staffed with two physicians and a whole medical team to ensure every patient receives excellent, but quick care.

“No one says, ‘I want to go to urgent care and sit there for three hours,’” Bixler said. “You want to get in and get out, and we want to do that as well. We built the clinic in a way that you get in, get excellent care and then go back to whatever else you really had planned for the day.”

The clinic also has a registered nurse that does the triage, said Lois Cross, director of clinical operations for primary and urgent care.

“This is unusual. Not all urgent cares have a triage,” Cross said. “As soon as that patient comes in, the nurse can deal with it immediately and get that patient to the right level of care. When the physician sees the patient, they are ready to go. We don’t want patients sitting out there with a heart attack or stroke and not getting exactly where they need to go.”

In the event there is a large rush of patients, you won’t have to wait until you get to the clinic to know how long the wait is. You can simply go online to the clinic’s website and check the wait time.

“The clinic is built in a way that we don’t know how many people are going to show up,” Bixler said. “If we have more people show up than we anticipate, we have the capability to put a third doctor in so we can take care of the increased volume.

Sutter has an Auburn and Roseville clinic that physicians can be pulled from to come to Folsom to help if and when they are swamped, he said.

Cross said residents can look forward to getting care within their community by well-qualified physicians and staff without needing to drive a distance to their primary physician.

A few unique aspects about the clinic include local artist’s artwork and photography featured on the walls and there are two open observation rooms next to the nurse’s station to keep an eye on patients.

“I am so excited because this has been a long time coming and now the city of Folsom has this space,” said Teresa Wilson, exiting director of clinical operations for primary and urgent care.

With eight exam rooms, two observation rooms and a hand-picked experienced staff, receiving your urgent care with Sutter Medical Group is simple.

The Folsom clinic is located at 2575 E. Bidwell Street, Suite 160 and will be open every day of the week, including all holidays from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

For more information, go to suttermedicalfoundation.org/urgentcare.