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Urgent Health Care Center Moves Into Lyons Mall

Center already serving local residents for emergencies, accidents and off-hours illnesses even before grand opening.

Dr. Raghu Varma, medical director at AstraHealth Center in Lyons, in one of the exam rooms. By Linda Sadlouskos
Dr. Raghu Varma, medical director at AstraHealth Center in Lyons, in one of the exam rooms. By Linda Sadlouskos
The ribbon was cut last week on a new urgent care facility in the Lyons Mall — but local residents who have suffered cuts, sprains, fractures, sudden infections or other emergencies that weren't life threatening had already been finding their way to AstraHealth Center.

The center, which had undergone major renovations to the space at 18 Lyons Road in the mall before opening on Nov. 12, fills a location that had previously been filled by restaurants.

The public is invited to an open house at the facility this Saturday.

"It's an excellent use of space," Bernards Township Mayor John Carpenter said as he presided over the ribbon-cutting. 

Carpenter said he believes there is a market for health care facilities such as Astra, which accepts all insurances, including Medicaire,  and is open for walk-in appointments. "It's the future of healthcare in this country," he said, noting that a Rite-Aid pharmacy is just across the parking lot.

The facility has three private exam rooms, as well as open treatment bays. An x-ray machine is on site.

The medical director of the urgent care center is Dr. Raghu Varma, who also in an emergency room physician at St. Clare's Hospital in Denville. As part of a group, he said he also is planning to open two additional locations, in Hoboken and Bayonne, in the near future.

Varma said the center can treat patients in pretty much the same way as any physician's office — and during hours when many private doctor's offices are closed. The center also had seen some out-of-town patients who were visiting local relatives around the holidays when they fell ill, he said.

The center also offers such services such as pre-employment physicals and drug screening, innoculations for travelers and other exams, said Anthony Russo, practice supervisor.

Tests for strep and flu also are available in the office. Innoculations for diseases such as flu and tetanus are given.

The center will x-ray possible fractures and set breaks with a splint, but do not set casts in the office, according to the staff.

Varma said the urgent care center offers an alternative to going to an emergency room for many cases, but being able to avoid the long lines and delays at a hospital ER. "We try to [see patients] as quickly as possible," he added.

Astra also plans to offer community services such as blood pressure and blood glucose level screenings, as well as exams.

Upcoming dates include:

Saturday, Jan. 25: Open House, 9 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to stop in and take a tour, and meet the staff.

Tuesday, Jan. 28:  2:30 to 6 p.m. — School athletic physicals and vision exams offered.

Thursday, Jan. 30: 2:30 to 6 p.m. —  School athletic physicals and vision exams offered.

Wed. Feb 5: 9 a.m. to noon — Free blood pressure screening and blood glucose testing.

The cost of athletic physicals is $35, and an athletic physical vision exam is $10, according to the center.

Phone and operating hours

The phone number is 908-760-8888. The website is http://astrahealthcenters.com/

The center is open:

Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

David Stern January 24, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Congratulations to the AstraHealth Center team on your ribbon cutting! All the best as you provide essential care to your community, from all of us at Practice Velocity.
Valerie Pawlowski January 24, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Very excited for this new endeavor and congratulations to AstraHealth Center. This facility is an excellent addition offering comprehensive services conveniently located within reach right here in our community.
El Gianca April 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Excellent Service!

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