NorthBay Urgent Care Now Open in Vacaville

Solano County’s first retail-based urgent care clinic opened Jan. 10 in the Nut Tree Plaza to a packed house of VIPs — NorthBay Healthcare leaders, board members, civic leaders and lawmakers — just hours before the first patient walked through the front door.

An affordable and convenient alternative to the hospital emergency room, NorthBay Urgent Care occupies 4,000 square feet in the building adjacent to the vintage Nut Tree train and carousel.

The facility’s first day kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and comments by NorthBay leaders, including President and CEO Konard Jones and NorthBay Healthcare Group President Aimee Brewer as well as Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine.

NorthBay Healthcare has partnered with Direct Urgent Care, a pioneer in operating high-tech, patient-centric urgent care centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together they offer an improved consumer experience through a service-based, retail location, offering accessible, high-quality, affordable care.

NorthBay emergency physician and Direct Urgent Care co-founder Caesar Djavaherian, M.D., explained the reason for the venture into retail medicine. “This is what it’s all about,” he told the crowd as he lifted his cell phone: “It’s the remote control of your life.”

He explained that appointments at new center can be easily booked on a smart phone and that the staff is all about handling patients efficiently and effectively.

The center features onsite X-ray, laboratory, some pharmacy services and accelerated test results within minutes. Expectations are 30 to 40 patients per day will be seen for low-acute illnesses — flu, fevers, cuts, sprains, broken bones, sports injuries, ear aches and other childhood maladies.

“We will provide care for people of all ages, extending NorthBay’s standard for quality of care, delivered by a team of ER-trained clinicians,” said Jones. “People are asking, ‘Why here? Why in Vacaville? Why at the Nut Tree?’ The real question is, why not here. This is our mission, to provide quality care to this community.”

Online reservations are available with a “virtual queue” to help minimize wait times. Walk-in patients can “save my spot” and are sent a text message when a treatment room and health care provider is available.

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the facility accepts most major insurance plans.

Direct Urgent Care operates similar high-tech, patient-centric centers in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and Mountain View, all in or near retail centers.

“The benefit to the community is that we can treat patients in our urgent care setting and out of the Emergency Department,” Dr. Djavaherian explained. “That way the ER can do what it is amazing at doing — taking care of critically ill patients who need that level of care.”

“As the only community-based, locally managed, nonprofit health care system, we strive to fill the gaps in local services that people need,” noted Brewer, “Convenient and affordable urgent care for anyone who needs it is an asset to our community.”

Brewer added, “Our partnership with Direct Urgent Care helps us fulfill our mission to innovate new healthcare services in our community. Our two missions align as we both believe in patient-centered care providing a seamless service experience, and access to care when and where people need it most.”

The joint venture, she said, is an innovative model that is convenient to where patients live, work and play.

Wayne Gietz, vice president of Ambulatory Services, said retail medicine achieves two critical goals for NorthBay Healthcare:


  • Eases pressure on overburdened Emergency Departments and thereby reducing waiting times for patients who need emergent care; and
  • Introduces more of the community to the NorthBay Healthcare system and the compassionate care, advanced medicine, close to home, that it delivers.

Being in a retail shopping area is the “future of medicine,” Dr. Djavaherian noted. “It is not fair for people to have to wait a week or more to be seen by their doctors when they are feeling sick today. We are now the same-day provider in our community.”