Tupper to open private practice

By: 
Alexis Barker

Submitted photo

Ashely Tupper

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor

 

Registered nurse Ashley Tupper will soon branch out on her own, leaving the Regional Health Medical Clinic in Newcastle to open her own private practice, Hometown Medical Clinic, 719 Washington Blvd. 

According to Tupper, she has been thinking about branching out on her own for some time due to the change in the family practice culture in the community and the country. With the relocation of FOCUS to downtown Newcastle, Tupper said that the opportunity for a ready-to-go location was there. 

With the aging of local doctors and the difficulty in recruiting doctors to rural Wyoming, Tupper said, opening her own private practice was something she had to consider and that in Wyoming she is able to do so as a nurse practitioner 

“Opening my own practice was something I had to consider more seriously in recent years with both Dr. Reimer (Lanny) and Dr. Jording (Mike) moving closer to retirement,” Tupper said. “Then to be completely honest, when the FOCUS building became available, I had to jump on it.”

Finding a suitable building for a private practice, especially in Newcastle, was going to be one of the more difficult tasks, Tupper said, and she could not let the opportunity go when the building became available. 

“That building was used for Dr. Reimer’s very first practice he had in this community, so it was already zoned and ADA accessible,” Tupper said. “When it became available, I felt if I was going to do it now was the time. It did take a lot of encouragement from my family.” 

Tupper said that branching out on her own has nothing to do with her Regional job and that she felt very respected in her position there. As an independent practitioner, however, she said she has more freedom. 

“There are just some things as an independent provider that I can offer that are harder for larger practices,” Tupper said. “I am confident I can give a different level of care that is maybe more personalized than what can be offered with a big corporation. I am here to do what is best for the community.” 

Tupper plans to run the small private practice with the help of her mother and husband. 

“We will be a small family-run practice, but eventually I hope to add on support staff. As for now, I am just hoping people show up,” Tupper said. 

Tupper will begin taking appointments sometime this month and plans to begin seeing patients on Sept. 3. Hours at the clinic will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tupper also plans to be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. 

“We are going to offer some after hours because I know that is really important to the community. It is something I wanted to be able to offer, and something I feel really good about,” Tupper said. 

She noted that she also sees the need for weekend hours and that she plans to adjust the after-hours openings as needed. 

“I want to fit the needs of the community, and I can make those decisions and do that with my own private practice,” Tupper said. 

Tupper said she plans to offer general services that are offered at most clinics, including basic family practice and well-child visits, as well as minor procedures
such as typical laceration repairs, stitches, casting, burn care, eye care, skin lesions and nail care. 

“We will do some basic on-site lab testing like rapid strep, blood glucose, drug screens and pregnancy urine analysis,” Tupper said. “I also have a secondary concentration in occupational health medicine, and so I am setting up with the Department of Transportation to do workers’ compensation.” 

Tupper said that she will work closely with the Regional Medical Clinic and Weston County Health Services for other lab testing and vaccinations to ensure that as many people as possible use those services locally. 

Tupper will accept all major insurances, as well as Medicare and South Dakota and Wyoming Medicaid. She also plans on working with a practice management team to create a membership program for those with no insurance. 

“The plan will include a set fee like $99 a month for an individual or $110 for a family, and those with the program will receive primary care services at that price if they have no insurance,” Tupper said. “That will include all services offered at the clinic.” 

The overall goal is to provide small-town family care to the people of the community, she said. 

“I just hope to offer and meet some of the needs in this community that we know there are. These are things I have been looking to add for some time, and I will continue to be open and willing to make changes and be active in the community,” Tupper said. 

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