One of the Druid City's best known physicians, Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty celebrated the grand opening of his latest medical care facility, FirstKids Urgent Care, located at 1251 McFarland Boulevard E in Tuscaloosa.

Peramsetty's network already serves a vast body of patients of all ages through his existing care facilities. Those include Crimson Care on Veterans Memorial Parkway and Skyland Boulevard, Crimson Village, which serves elderly patients in need of assisted living and First Care Urgent Care, which is right next door to the new building.

"I want to congratulate Dr. P. on this opening, especially during the time of COVID," said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. "The man has literally been a hero for our community over the last 18 months, his staff right along with him... Dr. Peramsetty was one of the first in Tuscaloosa within the medical profession to tell people how serious this could be."

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FirstKids serves patients under the age of 18, for regular illnesses like common colds. However, as the delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to spread, especially amongst younger children returning to in-person school, Dr. Peramsetty said that FirstKids will strongly focus on helping kids who test positive for the virus.

"We have seen some pretty significant numbers for COVID," Dr. Peramsetty. "We do testing outside to the car, we also do testing inside... The word is getting out that we are here. A lot of people come in here, using our services."

Dr. Peramsetty mentioned that the completely new staff features a large team of pediatric experts and nurse practitioners. He looks forward to start administering COVID-19 antibody infusions for those applicable in addition to testing.

"We're really excited to have this. I don't see any better time to open this facility, especially during COVID... This is going to be really helpful for us to screen kids or test them, guide them and advise them," Dr. Peramsetty said.

"We've always been taking care of kids, but now we're going to take care of kids in an environment where we help them feel welcomed, and we can actually focus on everything they need, as COVID continues to outbreak," said Sam Whitmer, Chief Operating Officer of Crimson Care Network.

Witmer promised that this expansion wasn't the end. He teased several future projects to be announced in the near future.

FirstKids Urgent Care operates 12 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dr. Peramsetty encouraged any sick kids that can't visit during regular hours should instead visit First Care right next door.

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