CEDAR ISLES DEAN — A new family-run urgent care clinic recently opened in the Calhoun Village Shopping Center, offering treatment for everything from slivers to bone fractures.
Neighborhood residents Mike and Niki Oldensburg hosted a grand opening for their venture, Twin Cities Medical Clinic, July 9. It’s at 3264 W. Lake Street on the second floor of the mall just above the Blockbuster video store.
The husband-and-wife team said a main reason for starting the clinic was a lack of urgent care in the area.
“Urgent care is basically a walk-in clinic with same-day service for minor medical problems that don’t require an emergency room, but do require a medical provider to address,” Mike said.
Mike has been in practice for more than 10 years and has medical licenses in the United States, Norway and Sweden, his birth country. Because he was born in a foreign country himself, Mike has become especially interested in providing care to immigrants, helping them achieve the “American dream.”
“I was born in Sweden and I came here when I was 2, so I have a lot of empathy for those immigrants coming for the American dream,” Mike said. “I love the immigration medical exams.
“When you work with the immigrant population, you realize there are people out there who truly believe in the American dream,” he said. “It’s really amazing because I think a lot of us Americans, who grew up here; we kind of lose vision of that because it becomes just a part of your normal life. When you meet these immigrants, you meet people who really believe in hard work and success.”
Growing up in different countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, in addition to working with the Peace Corp. in Africa spurred Niki’s interest in earning her doctorate in public health. Living around the world has also given her perspective on people from other countries, as well as those trying to enter the U.S.
“There’s some (immigrants) who’ve given up a lot to come over here,” she said. “You see how diverse our community is. It is a diverse group of people who come to see Mike. We just enjoy people who come from different cultures and talking to them about how they lived in their own countries, what food they ate, and what languages they spoke. It’s been really interesting.”
But the new clinic is open to anyone with just about any minor medical issue.
Some former patients, such as Alfredo Olarte, showed support for the new clinic at the official grand opening.
“(Mike) cares about you, he asks you questions, he makes you feel comfortable. He’s also super gentle, but has no attitude,” Olarte said.
Mike and Niki met at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Mike worked for his master’s and medical degrees and Niki worked for her master’s and doctorate. They were married in 1996.
After earning her doctorate in public health, Niki set off to make her own mark in the medical field, before taking time off to raise the couple’s two daughters, Kirsi, 10, and Aila, 7.
“I used to work in the health department, and I was the director of evaluation. I evaluated HIV and STD prevention programs, and then I took five years off to raise my two daughters,” Niki said. “So I was a full-time mommy and I loved it, and now I am at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. I manage cardiovascular clinical trials and now I am working 25 percent (of the time) because this (new clinic) is such a huge venture for us.”
Niki and Mike have already been hard at work advertising their clinic to neighboring businesses and have already developed a relationship with Walgreens next door.
The moment a prescription is written at Twin Cities Medical Clinic, the patient is directed to the Walgreens, where it can be picked up. An electronic system is in the works, so prescription orders will immediately pop up on the list of things to do for the pharmacists.
“I’m very excited for them, I think there’s a big demand for (urgent care) here,” said Walgreens Manager Heidi Corporaal. “They’ll help our customers, and we’ll help them. It’s a good mutual relationship.”
Twin Cities Medical Clinic is physician-staffed from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Friday and noon–6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit www.twincitiesmedicalclinic.com or call 285-9996.