A new walk-up COVID testing site is now open in Clarksville, courtesy of Quality First Urgent Care.

The facility, located on Ten Oaks Road, will transition to full urgent care services within the next few months, providing comprehensive care for all urgent medical needs, including cold and flu intervention, minor injuries, infections, and more.

Surprisingly, the initial kickoff for this endeavor occurred decades ago on a college athletics field.

As teammates on the Towson University soccer team, Quality First Urgent Care owner and president Dr. Pascal Crosley and Chief Operating Officer David Gruber used to pit their hometowns against each other.

Gruber, who spent the last 28 years in financial services and asset management, grew up in New Jersey. Dr. Crosley, of course, grew up in Columbia, Maryland.

While Dr. Crosley ultimately pursued a medical career and studies that led him to Georgia, where he served as the medical director at DeKalb Medical Center, Gruber and his family settled in Howard County in 1997.

“The big joke is that I realized how much better his hometown was,” laughs Gruber.

Now, the teammates are pairing up once again – this time to bring comprehensive health care to Clarksville and greater Howard County.

“It’s important for people to understand this urgent care center is going to be in our backyards,” says Gruber of his collaboration with Dr. Crosley. “This is our community. My wife and I do our shopping in Clarksville. We know other business owners in Clarksville. My kids have gone through the Howard County Schools –now here at Glenelg. This is where we live, and this is the community we’re going to be serving.”

A Howard County native, Dr. Crosley attended Wilde Lake High School, and has resided in Western Howard County since returning to his home state.

As a board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Crosley has certainly “made the rounds.” In addition to his work in Georgia, he was a board member of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians, and later the Chairman of Emergency Medical Services at Saint Agnes Hospital’s department of emergency medicine in Baltimore. Paired with a unique business savvy he had developed while involved with various physician’s groups, he set out to offer a new kind of urgent care.

“I kind of took the skills I had learned up to this point and wanted to apply them to access and health services in the community I was raised in,” he says.

He opened the flagship Quality First Urgent Care in Burtonsville in December of 2019. And things were going great. Then the pandemic hit, and Dr. Crosley and his team – like everyone else – had to pivot.

“We pivoted from general urgent care, which basically went to zero, to understanding the needs of our community regarding access to efficient and ubiquitous testing,” says Crosley.

Quality First Urgent Care was an early adopter, to say the least.

“When we started, there was really no one else doing testing,” Crosley explains, noting that many urgent care centers shut down completely when the pandemic hit. “We remained open and decided to innovate behind testing. We developed our own kits with the tutelage of some of the larger labs. So, we were one of the first few out of the gate.”

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Quest Diagnostics, and collaboration with the Howard County Department of Health, Quality First Urgent Care – opening drive-through sites at Savage and Elkridge fire stations – and has grown to become one of the largest testing sites in the state of Maryland.

Now that unique distinction is expanding with the new Clarksville site. The clinic occupies the entire first floor of a three-story, standalone office building, and offers spaces for patient care and testing, ample parking, and opportunity for future expansion.

“We’ll start with walk-up COVID testing that mimics our processes at Burtonsville – with PCR capabilities, as well as rapid testing in an efficient manner – and then transition into fully operational, full service urgent care probably within a month to six weeks’ time,” says Crosley. “We’ll have full X-ray services and everything else that Burtonsville has.”

Crosley and Gruber stress that all Quality First sites will also place a huge emphasis on occupational health services, and will provide consultation for businesses, school systems, and more regarding a safe return to the workplace, while also offering drug testing, pre-employment physicals, and more.

The team recently opened an in-house, high complexity laboratory in Burtonsville, which will provide enhanced testing volume and capabilities – including same-day PCR results – in the near future.

“When you’re talking about same-day results, that previously meant using antigen testing, where the sensitivity is usually much lower,” says Crosley. “Soon, we hope to be able to provide much higher sensitivity using the most accurate test, which will allow our patients to better manage their businesses, school systems, or personal illness and exposure.”

Visitors are asked to pre-register for COVID testing by texting #covid to 37373.

For hours and additional information, visit www.quality1urgentcare.com.