After 18 years on Wall Street, Norman Pediatric Associates has moved into a new, larger facility to accommodate its staffing needs and future goals.
Now at 3231 Healthplex Drive, the 17,000-square-foot building includes 36 exam rooms, 12 provider offices, two manager offices, a scheduling area, a billing area, a large lobby, a newborn area with its own waiting room, a conference room, a break room with a patio, and space for psychologists with its own waiting room.
The new facility also includes new furniture, including fun, colored chairs.
"It's been great. It's different. It's bigger. It's a big difference. There's a lot more room," Dr. Michael Milligan said, adding that it's nice to have everyone under one roof again.
The $6 million-plus building, which opened Dec. 18, is owned by Drs. Milligan, Donna Jackson and Tadgy Stacy near the Norman Regional Healthplex.
Over 18 years, Milligan said the number of physicians grew to six, plus nurse practitioners for each doctor. The practice opened in 2001 with three partners. Milligan joined the owner team in 2004. The fourth partner retired in December 2018.
"We outgrew the building," he said.
A year and a half ago, the group started renting a building on Palmer Circle, where Milligan could see patients. A few other doctors became nomads on the Wall Street campus because they had no office space of their own.
Milligan and the partnering doctors had looked all over town for a location and found land for sale on Medical Park West property around 2017. They broke ground on the new facility in July 2018, Milligan said. Mitscher & Associates Architects PLLC designed the building, and Miller-Tippens Construction was responsible for building it.
"Overall, it's a whole lot better," Milligan said, adding that the patients also love the new facility.
Although the practice has already opened its doors to the public, Milligan said the building is not quite complete. Future plans include adding a small, updated train that travels around the lobby area and installing a large fish tank with a jungle tree going through it.
The 4-foot-wide, 6-foot-tall fish tank is being designed by Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, based in Las Vegas, the same company responsible for the former Animal Planet TV show "Tanked."
Milligan, who thought of the idea for the big fish tank, said the saltwater tank will hold 600 gallons of water and include a 15-foot tall tree, based on the practice's logo. The fish tank will begin two feet above the ground to give children a better view. Currently, the practice has a temporary, smaller tank installed.
The new tank is being built in Las Vegas and will be installed over a two-day period once it is completed, Milligan said. He would not say how much the tank cost.
He said plans are in the works to host a grand opening event to showcase the new facility after the fish tank is installed, possibly with the "Tanked" crew present for autographs. However, they are still in the early planning stages.
The partners also are searching for two psychologists and a counselor to join the practice.
The practice offers health services to children ages birth to 18. Milligan said the addition of psychologists and a counselor would allow them to offer additional care, including parent-child interaction therapy, treatment for attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and other mental health services for children.
Milligan said the partners plan on taking their time before hiring psychologists and a counselor, because they want to find the right people for the job who will collaborate well with them. Interested individuals may apply by calling the main office, 321-5114, and asking for office manager Brie Hopper.
Currently, Milligan said each set of providers (one doctor and one nurse practitioner) sees between 750 and 1,000 patients a month. The practice also offers an after-hours clinic following regular business hours and on weekends.
His hope for the future of Norman Pediatric Associates is to continue taking quality care of patients and expanding services for psychology and counseling, Milligan said.
Milligan said their former building is for sale or lease through Equity Realty in Norman.
For more information about Norman Pediatric Associates, call 321-5114 or visit normanpediatrics.com.
Jamie BerryFollow me @JamieStitches13jberry@normantranscript.com