Burlington Area Family Practice Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary
the week of Aug. 16. The clinic that began with four physicians now has
14 board-certified or board-eligible family practice physicians, three
board-certified family nurse practitioners, two board-certified physician
assistants, a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed mental-health
Burlington Area Family Practice Center was the first building on Great
River Health Systems’ campus. Its story began when a 1988 study
showed an immediate need for family physicians in the Burlington area.
Six physicians had left the community and four were set to retire. Access
to primary care was in critical condition.
Primary-care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are
the first contacts and principle points of continuing care for patients
in a health care system. They provide diagnosis and treatment of acute
and chronic illnesses, health maintenance, patient education, counseling
and health promotion, and they coordinate care with other specialists
Gary Mansheim, M.D., was the only family physician in Burlington when he
approached Great River Health administrators about forming a family
physician group practice.
“My goal was to create a team of physicians who would provide high-quality,
cost-effective and compassionate medical care in a sophisticated office,”
he said. “We have achieved more than I dreamed.”
James McCabe, M.D., a New London, Iowa, native who had been practicing
in northwest Iowa, was the first to join him. By the time the new clinic
opened, Thomas Boyd, D.O., and David Carlson, M.D., had joined the group
after finishing their residencies.
Dr. Mansheim worked with the health system and architects to develop a
plan for a building for six health care providers. The building grew as
the number of primary-care providers increased. In 2008, both ends of
the building were expanded. Between 1998 and 2012, the lower level was
remodeled to add examination rooms.
In 25 years, Burlington Area Family Practice Center has cared for 135,000
patients. They have had nearly 1.5 million clinic visits, 1.6 million
laboratory tests and about 95,000 X-rays.
This summer, four new providers have joined its staff to help meet the
community’s need for primary-care providers. Three of the four providers
work at the new Great River Family Practice Clinic.
“We are proud to have contributed to the Burlington area’s
quality of life,” Mansheim said. “Our patients have been kind,
understanding and grateful. The community has supported our growth and
we have, in turn, provided the best service possible.”