Virginia Valenti MSN, FNP-BC and Mary Cerrillo MSN, ANP-BC
Two medical professionals from Hamburg said that they recognize that scheduling an appointment to see a doctor could take a while. To tackle the problem, they have started their own business, with the first of their kind in Erie County to do so.
“In Erie County, we are the only nurse practitioners [with an office], owned and operated by NPs,” said Virginia Valenti MSN, FNP-BC.
Mary Cerrillo MSN, ANP-BC and Valenti are lifelong friends and nurse practitioners. They now own the newly-furnished Hamburg Primary Care on Southwestern Boulevard.
They said that, as nurse practitioners, their scope of practice is quite large. “We have master’s and doctorate degrees in advanced practice nursing,” Cerrillo said. “We can diagnose and treat, prescribe all medications, including narcotics, and order all lab results.”
The two combined have nearly a half century’s worth of experience in the medical field. Cerrillo has also spent nearly a decade working with endocrinologists and is using that experience as a project, to work toward her doctorate.
The nurse practitioners said that the primary care facility’s stated mission is one they feel very strongly about.
“Our whole goal is to give the patient ample time to discuss all of their needs with us and to be there for them,” Valenti said. “We want to look at the whole patient. We do direct one-on-one. You will see us from the minute you walk in the door until we shake your hand and say goodbye to you. You just see us.”
The practitioners said that their first appointments with patients are very unique.
“For brand new patients, we see them together,” Cerrillo said. “So they get to know both of us, because one time they might see her or me.”
The business partners said that they were inspired to start this business when they noticed a physician shortage, and also credited their upstart to Obamacare. They said that, with many more individuals’ becoming uninsured, now was the perfect time to open their doors.
“There’s a shortage of primary care facilities and we’re filling the gap,” Valenti said.
The practitioners stressed that it is still important to see a doctor and any specialists a patient may need.
“We’re not here to replace [doctors],” Valenti said. “We’re like physician extenders.”
COME ON IN — Hamburg Primary Care is located at 4535 Southwestern Blvd., Suite 705, in Hamburg. Photos by Carl Lam.
Hamburg Primary Care is credentialed by every insurance company, ranging from Medicare to Medicaid and insurances in between, and is currently accepting new patients.
The business is located at 4535 Southwestern Blvd., Suite 705 in Hamburg. For more information, call 201-0055.