JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – On Tuesday there was a big announcement for a one mile stretch in Jonesboro. Folks with St. Bernards Health Care and surrounding healthcare related businesses are joining forces for the Matthews Medical Mile. The Matthews Medical Mile runs from the doctors' parking lot at St. Bernards down Matthews to the construction of the ASU overpass.
"We have everything right here on Matthews and in downtown Jonesboro from birth to hospice care and everything in between," said Laura Pickens, Vice President for Marketing at St. Bernards Health Care.
Pickens said branding the existing area will hopefully bring more people downtown.
"We want people to think, on top of their head, they come to Matthews Avenue to Matthews Medical Mile for their healthcare," said Pickens.
Even before the announcement, work started for that branding. The curbs have been painted burgundy all along the Matthews Medical Mile. Tuesday morning the signs along the newly designated mile started going up. Pickens said they've been working on this plan for a few years. Dr. Russell Harral of Vision Care Center is one of the doctors who is part of the mile.
"The concept itself has been in place for a number of years but putting an official title with it really meant a lot for North East Arkansas," said Harral.
Harral is one of the many businesses who have signed on.
"I think the key thing is for people to look at this area as it always has been looked at, but maybe in a little bit different light with the fact that this is a major healthcare area for this region," said Harral.
There are new options for medical care popping up all across the region and there is increased competition for where to go to for service.
"You have seen businesses go up along Matthews and we hope that more physician clinics will want to build their practices and start up their physician clinics along Matthews Avenue," said Pickens.
Doctors here say they want to be your choice and the location other physicians want to call home.
"The way things have grown over the past five to seven years in this area really lends itself to this concept," said Harral.
More signs will be added to later to let folks know when they enter and leave the "mile". A special kiosk will be added at The Mall at Turtle Creek for folks to find a list of participating businesses.