Mercy Health – Bluffton Family Medicine to Open Late Summer in Downtown Spot

   Something’s happening at 204 N. Main Street, the old Groves Bears store. By the end of the summer, it should open as Mercy Health – Bluffton Family Medicine.
   St. Rita’s Medical Center has opened similar operations recently in Ada and Columbus Grove. A couple of years ago, members of the St. Rita’s staff who live in Bluffton wanted a similar facility here, according to Beth Keehn, Director of Marketing and Communications at St. Rita’s Health Partners, Mercy Health. A St. Rita’s focus group was formed to share ideas. Conversations were then held with several groups of Bluffton residents.
   The findings of the focus group and the Bluffton groups were that the Bluffton community would benefit from a family medicine office that offers walk-in care options, with X-ray and lab services.
   The hunt for a location was on and discussions began regarding the 204 N. Main Street location. The old Groves Bears building, owned by Dr. James Gideon, seemed to be a good accessible location. Gideon has since leased the building to them.
   Building in hand, the next step was to redesign a historic building to fit in to the downtown streetscape. According to Keehn, “Bluffton’s downtown is such an attractive and welcoming area, we want to honor that in our design.” So, the plan is to “integrate seamlessly onto   Main Street and create more of a retail feel, with big windows, natural light and modern furnishings.”
   The work will be accomplished by Miller Contracting Group, Ottoville, and Design Collaborative, Ft. Wayne. Both have worked on other St. Rita’s projects.