Medical offices planned for former Moonwalkers site

A small piece of Moonwalker Fun Centre will continue to entertain children in the premises previously occupied by the now-closed indoor play area.

Electrician Brent Becker of Q2 Electrical hollows out drywall to make room for a plug where the pharmacy will be in the former Moonwalker Fun Centre in the Highland Green Mall Thursday.

A small piece of Moonwalker Fun Centre will continue to entertain children in the premises previously occupied by the now-closed indoor play area.

Pharmacist Greg Stokowski, who bought Moonwalker’s bay in Highland Green earlier this year and is developing it into a medical clinic and drug store, kept some of the play equipment so that it can be used by youngsters awaiting treatment. He added that a large space in the clinic, which will specialize in family medicine, is being dedicated to play.

Stokowski said this feature resulted from conversations with a number of parents, and his own experiences sitting with his children in doctors’ offices.

Drs. Tony Ford and Derek Rautenbach, who operate the nearby Highland Park Walk-in Medical Clinic, will relocate their practices to the new medical offices, said Stokowski. Three other doctors from outside Red Deer have committed to join them, with space available for three more.

Stokowski expects the physician count to grow as the new clinic establishes itself. The expanding residential area on the city’s northwest side should support this, he said.

In addition to examination rooms, the 5,000-square-foot clinic will have two treatment rooms where medical procedures like suturing can be performed.

“Those rooms are much larger and would be way better equipped,” he said, adding that this includes sterilization equipment.

Walk-in medical services are expected to be available seven days a week, including from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays.

This combination of treatment rooms and extended hours should help reduce demand at hospital emergency rooms, said Stokowski. That, in turn, is likely to reduce the overall cost to the health-care system.

Stokowski would like to see the entire strip mall at 6315 Horn St. devoted to health care and renamed Highland Green Professional and Medical Centre. Dr. Michael Awad previously announced plans to relocate his Alberta Fertility Clinic and Women’s Imaging there, and other medical specialists have expressed interest in setting up practices in the centre, he said.

There is even the possibility of a diagnostic imaging centre, where X-ray and related services would be provided, joining the medical mix, said Stokowski.

The new pharmacy will operate as Value Drug Mart and will replace Stokowski’s existing pharmacy that operates under the same name at 88 Howarth St. — adjacent to Ford and Rautenbach’s current medical clinic.

At about 10,000 square feet, the new Value Drug Mart will be more than three times the size of its predecessor. It will boast an expanded Canada Post outlet, private counselling rooms, a travel clinic and expanded product lines.

Stokowski said Value Drug Mart’s current complement of three pharmacists will likely increase to four after the move.

He expects the new pharmacy and medical clinic to open by the end of June.

A pharmacist in the Highland Green area for more than 25 years, Stokowski started his professional career in a drug store at the same strip mall. He opened Value Drug Mart at its current location around 1990.

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