New UIHC Facility to Increase Health Care Access for Southeast Iowa City Residents


The new UIHC facility will provide more accessible medical care to an area where many residents must seek primary care services outside their communities.


Grace Kreber

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is seen on February 14.

A new University of Iowa health care facility specializing in primary care services is expected to open in southeast Iowa City in 2025.

While the project is in the early stages of development, the facility’s planned location will increase access to health care in an area of ​​the city with the fewest primary care options.

“To build strong neighborhoods and a healthy community, we must make sure everyone has access to high-quality health care,” Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said in a press release. “By placing primary care services in this currently underserved neighborhood, we can have a positive impact on the health of our community for years to come.”

According to UIHC, the university has started the request for proposal process but has not decided on the developer or the exact location of the new facility in the selected area.

“By adding services in southeast Iowa City, we are increasing access and reducing barriers for individuals seeking high-quality care,” Kim Hunter, interim chief executive officer and chief nursing officer at UIHC, said in a statement.

“There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who don’t have the time or mobility to drive all over town,” Bovey said. “With the medical clinic on this side of town, you know, it will make a lot of people very happy to know that medical care is more easily accessible.”

With a lack of nearby primary care options available, some South County residents must consider workday availability, childcare, transportation and other conflicts before seeking care.

To reach existing medical facilities, Bovey said some South County residents may have to cross the highway, which is not ideal for people.

“The only way to cross the highway is either by car or bike or on foot, and a lot of our residents aren’t wild about that on foot, and they don’t have cars,” Bovey said. “I’m lucky I have a car. I’m also lucky that employers I get to work for are usually pretty cooperative about having time off when I’m not well. It is definitely a privileged thing that not everyone can claim.”

Audra M. King, another southeast Iowa City resident, also expressed her support for how the new facility will reduce challenges for residents in accessing health care.

“I think having something physical on this side of the city would open up so many doors for people who just have barriers that maybe other people don’t have,” King said. “It just levels the playing field a little bit more by having a facility like this in the community, versus expecting people to always be able to cross the river or take the bus or get a ride or whatever .”

As a parent, King said having a primary care facility nearby also makes it easier if any of her children need medical attention.

“While I have a primary care doctor that I’m very comfortable staying with, if there’s a facility that makes it easier for us to run the kids to the doctor when they get sick or, you know, their receive primary care and then get them all to school faster so they miss less school, I’m all about that,” she said.

King, who works for the UI Carver College of Medicine in the Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum, added that while the facility’s closer location would be beneficial for travel reasons, it could also make receiving health treatment less intimidating for residents.

“I feel like having something on the east side of town, it’s kind of like having it on your own property, like you’re in your community where you feel comfortable, and [that] can make it a little easier for people to take advantage of the services,” she said.