By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer
WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP - They learned about Botox injections, had their blood pressure checked, received neck massages and took home bags of popcorn, pamphlets and medical doodads.
More than 500 people attended Saturday's grand opening of University Pointe - UC Physicians' new medical office and imaging center in Butler County and the first building of a $100 million hospital-like medical campus to appear off Cox Road, adjacent to Interstate 75.
The three-story, $11-million building showcases Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie-style architecture and the diverse, state-of-the-art features of a "boutique" hospital project.
About 30 doctors attended, easing crowds into the world of medicine while showing off the services the new campus will offer.
Dee Ensinger, 68, of West Chester, slid out of a neck-massage chair and her husband, Charles, 81, took her spot.
Mrs. Ensinger said she is eager to get more neck massages at Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa, which already started construction on the campus. It should open in January.
"It felt really good," she said. "It's good to not have to go down to Cincinnati. We needed something like this."
Shirley Bennett, 68, of Liberty Township accompanied her neighbor, Ruth Roth, 84, who felt safer and more secure knowing such a facility would be nearby.
"I'm anxious to see what's been going on out here," Mrs. Bennett said. "I'm impressed with all the different kinds of things this place will offer, especially since it's right at my back door."
Doctors Jennifer Butterfield and Christopher Gordon have offices at the complex. They shared the latest medical findings about breast augmentations and Botox, a toxic protein that temporarily makes wrinkles disappear.
"We want people to see this lovely facility (and) that UC physicians are out here in their community," said John Gillespie, marketing and development director.
At a Thursday ceremony, there was an announcement of four businesses to appear on the campus - Mitchell's, Huntington Bank, Dialysis Clinic Inc. and University Pointe Precision Radiotherapy.
Construction has begun on Mitchell's and DCI. A spring groundbreaking is expected for a small surgical facility. It should open in early 2004.
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