Reliant Medical Group committed to staying in Southborough

Above: Reliant Medical Group plans to maintain its presence at the Newton Street campus (photo from website)

Recently, I reached out to Reliant Medical Group about its operations in Southborough. I wanted to know if the group was invested in remaining at its Newton Street facility or had one foot out the door. A representative assured me that the medical practice “has no plans” to close their practice at the site.

This summer, media reports showed that the 24-32 Newton Street” outpatient medical campus” was purchased by investors. Although, Reliant was announced to have signed a lease to continue occupying 97,000 sq ft of the 125,000 sq ft facilities, the length of that lease wasn’t specified.

In recent years, Reliant had looked into the possibility of relocating, including surveying Southborough patients about the location versus elsewhere in town or neighboring towns.

Chief Communications Officer Linda Coccola responded to my inquiry. Among the statements she authorized sharing with readers was:

We are committed to the Southboro community and serving the MetroWest area. We have no plans to close our Southboro location.

Part of the reason for my inquiry was the lack of primary care physicians at the facility  taking new adult patients. It’s not a new issue, since I found that to be the case when I checked a few times over the past few years.

In looking at the Reliant website last week, I found that none of their job listings were for physicians at the Southborough facility. I reached out to learn if that meant they were purposely downsizing the practice.

In response to those issues, Coccola wrote:

  • We regularly recruit PCPs when a location has capacity for new providers. We have begun accepting new patients, and this fall and into 2024, we expect to have more access to PCPs throughout Reliant’s entire service geography, including Southboro. Our website is updated to reflect our PCPs who are accepting new patients.
  • For adolescents aging out of Reliant pediatric practices, we make every effort to find them a new PCP with Reliant.

History of Reliant Medical Group’s presence in Southborough

In 1972, Southborough Medical Group was formed. It originally had offices in the building at 11 Main Street before moving into the new facility at Newton Street around 1988. Over the years, the practice expanded. In 2014, the group announced plans to merge with Reliant Medical Group. In 2017, the merged groups announced that they would become part of Optum but continue under the Reliant name.

Relationship to town economy

Foot traffic from employees at the Newton Street facility was an element of Town officials’ vision for revitalizing the nearby downtown Main Street area. A publicly discussed hope was that new sidewalks installed by the Town would increase retail business.

A second component was revamped zoning to make it easier for businesses to make use of that demand. (The new zoning also allows in mixed-use buildings with residential units to add to the downtown demand.) However, one of the biggest impediments for attracting new downtown businesses is still outstanding. That’s the need to address significant septic constraints in that area, potentially through a wastewater treatment plan.

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