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Exer Urgent Care Opens at UTC, Builds Bridges Between the ER and Urgent Care

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Exer Urgent Care (EUC), Southern California’s fastest-growing ER alternative facility, has recently opened up a location at the University Town Center in Irvine, Calif. EUC, which currently has 27 facilities throughout Southern California including in Ventura County, San Fernando Valley, Central Los Angeles, South Bay and Orange County, brings together ER-trained doctors and medical personnel to treat patients in an affordable and caring environment. 

Dr. Cherlin Johnson, an emergency physician in Los Angeles, founded Exer Urgent Care in May 2013, with a vision to offer patients a pleasant and affordable experience for their medical issues or emergencies. The cost of going to the ER can be a challenge for many, with an average of five-hour wait times and a cost of about $2,000, so EUC makes for an effective alternative as it offers many of the same ER services at a lower cost and with less wait time.

Each Exer clinic, open seven days a week from 9 a.m.– 9 p.m. is conveniently made as a one-stop healthcare service, equipped with on-site ER doctors, an on-site lab, an X-Ray imaging room and a pharmacy. Additionally, if patients are unable to attend a visit in-person, Exer has VirtualCare which is a virtual medical platform that allows patients to meet with providers virtually and access their test results and health information via a patient portal.

Photo Courtesy of Exer Urgent Care

In an interview with Chief Medical Officer of Exer Urgent Care and emergency medicine physician, Dr. Cory Spurlock explained to the New University that one of the core reasons he moved from Florida to the West Coast was that he appreciated what the company Exer had to offer. He has now been with the company for four years. 

Dr. Cory Spurlock at an Exer Urgent Care facility. Photo Courtesy of LA Times 

Spurlock mentioned that “the name ‘Exer’ is short for ‘Executive ER’ [as] the main goal of Exer was to be an in-between of the basic urgent care and the Emergency Room . . . [in fact,] Exer is able to treat about 80% of Emergency Room cases.”

As a Chief Medical Officer, Spurlock is responsible for the medical and clinical aspects of the 27 EUC facilities. Under Spurlock are regional medical directors, physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at each Exer location. He is in charge of all of the policy and procedures from a medical standpoint, as well as the marketing and growth the Exer facilities. In addition, Spurlock works clinically and sees patients as a practicing physician. 

Spurlock explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency rooms were overrun with more patients more than ever; as a result, the goal of Exer is to offload the burden of the hospitals and emergency rooms and offer patients a smoother and easier experience with nearly the same services. 

Photo Courtesy of Exer Urgent Care

Spurlock also emphasized the importance of the Exer office environments. 

“If you have been to our facilities before, they are beautiful, clean and bright . . .  people don’t typically come to us on their best days. They come to us for a healthcare need, sometimes not serious, but sometimes very serious, so our goal is to help patients and turn their experience into a great one. That’s the goal of Exer: to be an alternative to the Emergency Room,” Spurlock said.

At Exer, patients can go in for COVID-19 testing, lab services and testing, pediatric care, and immunizations and vaccinations. Some common injuries and illnesses that Exer sees daily and can treat are rashes, strep throat, broken bones, burns, abdominal pain, sunburn, dehydration and more.      

Photo Courtesy of Exer Urgent Care

Sera Selin Guven is a STEM Staff Writer. She can be reached at guvens@uci.edu.