Grand Avenue’s Urgent Care provides medical care for its patients but is always looking for ways to provide for its community. One of those ways is offering free sports physicals. For two items of non-perishable food or two gently used articles of clothing, the physical required to participate in any sport in the district is free. No appointment is necessary. 

“We’ve always done sports physicals at a fairly discounted rate. It’s a classic way to get people into Urgent Care and develop a relationship with the community. And then we realized that we could charge $20, or do something useful for the community,” said founder John Jacobs, FNP.  

Grand Ave collaborates with the Foster Closet and Interfaith. Jacobs thought donating clothes would be easy, “because people getting sports physicals have kids. Those kids have clothes, and shoes that don’t fit anymore, so that seemed to be a good source of donations.”

Jacobs, who is on the board of Foster Closet, reached out to Jen Vazqueztell at the Foster Closet and she got the ball rolling. He reached out to Interfaith next. “It has been a pretty informal process. I just like helping people and they seem to be a good distribution in Laramie.”

“It’s been, as you can see, a pretty good response,” he said, surrounded by bags of food. “Everybody’s food bill has gone completely out of control. Our proximity to Ridley’s makes it pretty convenient. It’s nice that we can help fill the food pantry shelf.”

In its seven years of providing medical care in the Gem City, Jacobs has always found a way to give back to Laramie in some way, either by donating money, sponsoring events, or providing EMTs or ambulance services. 

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“Buying pigs from 4H, Little Pokes Rodeo, dirt bike races, the Med Bow marathon last week…We even did the Tom Horn Days last week. We do a lot of these things just to be active in the community. It gets our name out there, but more importantly, we can give back to the community.” 

Jacobs had a broad vision in starting Grand Ave in 2016. “I wanted to do a lot for the community. I wanted to keep health care in town. I had a huge background in international medicine before coming here. I wanted to give care to people who need it.”

John Jacobs/Grand Ave Urgent Care
John Jacobs/Grand Ave Urgent Care
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 Jacobs worked primarily in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “The food drive is good. I’ve spent a lot of time working in resource-poor countries. It’s so nice to be able to take care of people. Medicine is important, but food comes first.”

“I grew up with a strong sense of community mentality. I wanted to do that with Grand Ave.”

The vision is going to be expanded upon this fall. Grand Avenue is opening Grand Avenue Family Medicine in October to help fill primary healthcare needs in Laramie. For more information, visit their website. 

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