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A Quincy-based company and Central Massachusetts’ largest health system are teaming up to open several new urgent care centers.

CareWell Urgent Care will open two clinics in Worcester and one in Northborough through a new affiliation with UMass Memorial Health Care, the companies said Thursday. They plan to open additional sites over the next 12 to 18 months.

Other large health systems, including Steward Health Care System and Partners HealthCare, have also affiliated with urgent care operators. Urgent care centers, which treat non-emergency health problems such as colds, infections, rashes, fractures, and cuts, can serve as a source of referrals for hospitals. UMass Memorial said it will also refer patients to the urgent care centers when they don’t need hospital care.

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“Patients in emergency rooms can often be treated with the same quality of care, and much more quickly, at an urgent care center,” Shaun Ginter, chief executive of CareWell, said in a news release. “By formalizing our referral process through an official affiliation, our patients will get the care they need in the most efficient way possible.”

Carewell operates 10 clinics in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. UMass Memorial includes four hospitals and 1,700 physicians.


Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.