Revamped clinic opens doors

As the Veterans Administration continues to remodel the building at 1408 East St., the Family Physicians clinic moved into a newly renovated space in another part of the facility.


Local News

July 5, 2024 - 2:21 PM

Dr. Frank Porter, above, shows off a new exam room at the remodeled Family Physicians clinic at 1408 East St.

The past few months have been a whirlwind of change for the Family Physicians.

The office location is the same, 1408 East St., but Dr. Frank Porter and office staff have been shuffling their work in and out of various spaces around the building as it continues to be remodeled to accommodate a new Veterans Administration clinic. Over the last couple of weeks, the staff moved into what is now their new clinic in the back section of the building. 

“We love this space,” Martha DeGrado, office administrator, said. “It’s been a lot of chaos but the VA has been wonderful to work with.”

Most of the area formerly served as a dental clinic, DeGrado said. 

Crews with the VA worked with the physicians group throughout the process. Family Physicians picked the flooring, paint and other design choices. 

“All of our exam rooms are bigger,” DeGrado said. 

Currently, Porter is the group’s only physician after Dr. Timothy Spears left in February to join a new Ashley Clinic branch in Iola. 

All of the recent changes and the remodel have made it a little challenging, especially as many of Spears’ patients followed him to the new practice. Porter’s patients stayed with him.

“We’re still here,” Porter said. “We’re continuing to take care of patients. Patients really seem to like the new space.”

Porter said the new clinic space will give Family Physicians an opportunity to hire new providers. 

“We’re talking to a couple of physicians,” Porter said, but it’s too soon to know what that might look like. 

Porter grew up in Iola. He returned to the area in 1983, after first earning a pharmacy degree and then completing medical school. He worked with his stepfather, Dr. T.O. Osborne, at the Osborne Clinic in Colony before joining the Family Physicians in 2010. 

Family Physicians staff members include, front from left, Barbara Raby, Angie Waters; back, Sherry Sandlin and Martha DeGrado. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

INSIDE, the majority of the building has been gutted with several walls removed and new areas built. Though construction continues on the VA clinic itself, the work so far indicates the new space will be bright and airy — and accessible — with lots of windows, wide hallways, touch-free doors and modern flooring. 

Visitors will enter into a new lobby, with the VA clinic space to the left. Iola Pharmacy and its drive-thru remain unchanged to the right. The Family Physicians’ office is accessed via a short hallway. The doors open simply by waving a hand in front of a sensor. 

The lobby and waiting room is to the left. Business offices and medical records storage is still under construction on the right side of the new clinic space.

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