Health Care

Wesley expands west-side presence

Wesley Medical Center is expanding its presence in west Wichita, with a family medicine practice at 13th and Tyler Road.

WesleyCare Family Medicine Center West is to open Tuesday at 8710 W. 13th St., Suite 105.

It joins Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, Associates in Women's Health and Heartland Cardiology in the medical office space next to the Wesley West Emergency and Diagnostic Center.

The new practice will be staffed by Michael Palomino, who recently completed his residency at Wesley Family Medicine at 850 N. Hillside.

With the center's opening, Wesley will begin rebranding all of its outpatient facilities, using the WesleyCare name. It's meant to differentiate the clinics from the hospital while noting their connection, said Wesley spokesman Paul Petitte.

The rebranding will include Wesley Clinic at 620 N. Carriage Parkway,

which houses pediatrics, orthopedics and obstetrics-gynecology residency programs, and the pediatric subspecialty clinic that Wesley has in partnership with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. It's in the Medical Arts Tower next to Wesley.

Those clinics also have remodeling and expansion projects under way.

At the family medicine practice, Wesley is looking for a second physician and over the next three years plans to add a third along with six family medicine residents, said Steve Edgar, Wesley's chief operating officer. The residency program on Hillside will keep the remaining 21 residents.

Palomino said the west program will give residents a private-practice experience. The majority of patients in most residency programs, he said, are without insurance or are on Medicaid; the new practice will focus on patients with private insurance.

Edgar said the practice's opening has been in the works for about a year and a half, since Wesley officials visited a similar residency program in North Carolina.

Wesley's expanded presence in west Wichita wasn't influenced by Via Christi Health's new hospital in far west Wichita, Edgar said, noting the center is outpatient-focused.

The center will occupy 5,730 square feet, said Kris Hall, senior real estate manager for Wesley's commercial properties. That will bring the medical office space at 13th and Tyler to about 70 percent occupied.

Icon Structures is the contractor for the work.

At Carriage Parkway, Wesley is adding capacity to meet increased demand by finishing space that had been unoccupied. Key Construction is the contractor.

In the Medical Arts Tower next to Wesley Medical Center, remodeling is under way on three floors for an expanded pediatrics subspecialty program. That work is being done by Icon Structures and High Plains Construction.