It’s later in the day and a family member has a bad cough or minor laceration. It’s too late to get an appointment with your family doctor, but thankfully the health issue is not serious enough to warrant a long emergency room wait. What do you do?
It’s for exactly these types of situations that Astra Health Centers has opened an urgent care center in Bayonne at 564 Broadway. With extended hours of care, this is not your mother’s medicenter.
Filling an important need for the Bayonne community, Astra stays open until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The center markets itself as the place for residents to go for acute injury or illness.
“We’re a really convenient alternative to the emergency room for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses,” said spokeswoman Jade Marrero. “We’re a cost-effective option for the patient.”
“I believe we can be a huge asset to Bayonne,” said Astra Community Outreach Director Rita Zarabara.
“We are here to treat all but life-threatening emergencies,” said spokesman Anthony Russo. “We handle minor lacerations, coughs, colds, sore throats, strains, and sprains.”
Astra features a physician and X-ray facilities on site, and 10 patient rooms in a spacious facility.
The company has similar centers in Hoboken and the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township. The company is opening a Belleville practice in November.
Astra performs work, school, and sports physicals. It also offers Department of Transportation physicals, drug testing, and more.
“I believe we can be a huge asset to Bayonne.” – Rita Zarabara
“We have extensive occupational corporate health services, so we do workers’ comp,” said Marrero, who is also practice supervisor and workers’ compensation liaison.
The facility’s management takes pride in having only state-certified physicians on staff. But the facility is not an island unto itself. The center has close relationships with many doctors in the area, officials said.
“We encourage everyone to have a primary-care physician,” Russo said. “We’re not here to replace them.”
Astra Health Center has been unofficially open since Aug. 14. The center will hold its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
The company not only treats the community, but gets involved with it as well, devoting a team of nurses to public education and blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings.
“We’re not just a medical facility,” Russo said. “We like to become involved in the cities where we have facilities.”
Astra is at 564 Broadway, near the corner of 26th Street. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All major insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid.
For more information, call (201) 468-8888 or visit astra-hc.com.