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Not A Doctor In The House At New Medical Clinic

By Kathy Walsh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- A new medical clinic is open in Aurora, but don't ask to see the doctor. It's run entirely by nurse practitioners and promises to provide quality care in a relaxed environment.

CU Healthcare Partners at Belleview Point is believed to be the first medical clinic of its kind in Colorado.

On day one, Rosa Urbina is here for a medical exam suggested by her physician after a hospital stay. She knows she won't be seeing a doctor, but rather, a nurse practitioner and Urbina is a little unsure.

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Family nurse practitioner Kristen Petrelli with Rosa Urbina (credit: CBS)

"How are they going to know what's going on with you if there's not a doctor on site?" she asked CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh just before her appointment.

Enter Kristen Petrelli, a family nurse practitioner. She was ready with some of Urbina's records from the hospital. And Petrelli peppered her with questions about her health. That's the procedure at the new clinic. It's a project of the CU Anschutz College of Nursing operated entirely by nurse practitioners.

"Nurse practitioners in the state of Colorado can prescribe, diagnose and treat without any sort of oversight by a provider or by doctors," said clinic operations manager Adrienne Wolf.

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CU Healthcare Partners clinic operations manager Adrienne Wolf questions Rose Urbina (credit: CBS)

Wolf considers the clinic one solution to the shortage of primary care physicians. Services include sick visits, physicals, vaccines and even mental health. You can pay with cash or insurance or try a monthly membership that ranges from around $59 to $79 a month for adults and $19 for most children.

"It's around $800 a year for most adults," said Wolf.

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After an hour with Petrelli, Urbina is satisfied.

"She had all the information that all the doctors would have," said Urbina. "I like it. I think I'm going to come back."

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CBS4's Kathy Walsh interviews Rose Urbina. (credit: CBS)

Colorado has a long history with nurse practitioners. The specialty was developed here. The first nurse practitioner training program began at CU Anschutz 50 years ago.

This new clinic is a pilot program. If successful, the plan is to build more throughout the region.

CU Healthcare Partners is located at Belleview Point, 5001 S. Parker Road, Suite 215 in Aurora.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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