Helping hands: Courtesy of an alumna

By Raeghan Hilton

Youngstown State University alumna Lena Esmail is using her education to expand healthcare services, to create jobs in the Mahoning Valley and surrounding areas.

There are currently 20 Quick Meds in northeast Ohio — 10 stand-alone clinics and 10 school-based clinics. These clinics have around 170 employees that see over 100,000 patients a year.

When starting Quick Med, Esmail said her and her silent partner found private funding, but as the company grew, it turned to the community. Thanks to successful events and the community’s buy-in, the company was able to continue privately funding. 

Quick Med offers services related to urgent care, primary care and at the Austintown location — women’s health. Esmail said services can differ depending on the specific needs of the community. 

“We go above and beyond the typical walk-in clinic model of urgent care. We are able to offer blood work as we have a centralized lab,” Esmail said. “We also are able to do things like IV fluid injections, shots for those that need it and we have some specialty services as well that urgent cares typically don’t venture into and that includes primary care services.”

Esmail said her patients appreciate the convenience and affordability at Quick Med. 

All Quick Med stand-alone locations are open seven days a week, including evening and weekend hours. Appointments aren’t necessary so patients can walk in at any point during the Quick Med hours and when telehealth visits are offered. 

Esmail also explained how Quick Med is affordable because there isn’t the same level of overhead costs as a hospital. Therefore, patients get the same services for a smaller price. 

“For example, if you come in for a cut or a laceration that needs stitches you will get the exact same service that you would in the emergency department for on average ¾ less cost,” Esmail said. 

Another route Esmail has taken with Quick Med is the You Care Clinics, which are Quick Med’s school-based clinics. Esmail said the four walk-in clinics function uniquely as they offer dental services and mental health services. Quick Med is looking to offer ophthalmology and audiology services to students in the near future. 

Just recently, a new Quick Med opened on Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown. 

“It is the first urgent care within the city limits of Youngstown. It also offers primary care and is strategically placed on the south side of Youngstown because we knew going into it there was a need there, it was a healthcare desert,” Esmail said. 

Moving forward, Esmail said a stand-alone Quick Med will be opening in Salem this summer which will work alongside the already established school-based clinic. 

Esmail has earned a total of five degrees. She received her first two degrees from YSU, a bachelor of science and nursing and a bachelor of arts and biology degree. 

Esmail then went to Ursuline College where she earned a master’s of science in nursing followed by a doctor of nursing practice which she received from Kent State University. 

She returned to YSU for her post-master’s degree in adult critical care for nurse practitioners. 

Prior to developing the Quick Med Clinics, Esmail said she had several years of experience working as a nurse practitioner in the emergency and inpatient departments in hospitals. 

Besides Esmail’s work with the Quick Med Clinics, she also serves the community through serving on boards and committees. She sits on the board of trustees at the YMCA in downtown Youngstown and the Youngstown Business Incubator. 

Additionally, Esmail continues her ties with YSU as a member of the Equity Committee for the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services.

For more information on the Quick Med Clinics, visit its website.