May 30, 2002

Hospital Board Reverses Decision To Close Wyaconda Medical Clinic

A month after approving a motion to close the Wyaconda Medical Clinic effective June 7, the governing board for the Scotland County Memorial Hospital voted 6-0 to rescind the decision and keep the office on a limited basis at a May 22 meeting.

At the April board meeting, members followed the recommendations of attending physicians at the facility to close the site due to declining patient counts. The medical clinic has been operating in the red, adding further reason for the closure.

Clinic staff recommended closing the Wyaconda facility and redistributing the staff at the Memphis Medical Clinic to possibly offer evening hours and other expanded services.

The Wyaconda Clinic was seeing approximately 3.6 patients per day. In April the patient visits count at the site was 71. That was down from 91 in the same month the previous year and compares to 281 patients seen in April 2002 at the Lancaster Medical Clinic and 857 patients that visited Memphis Medical Services during the same time.

Following the April board decision patients at the Wyaconda Clinic were contacted about the planned closure of the site.

After meeting with many of these patients SCMH Chief of Staff, Doctor Matt Cormier, asked the board to reconsider the decision to close the site. He suggested instead that the clinic hours be reduced from 2 days to just one day a week.

SCMH Administrator Marcia Dial stated the shift from 2 days to just one day would help cut much of the expense of operating the facility. If the site was only staffed for eight hours per week, it would cut payroll yet would still allow the local patients an opportunity to receive medical care without having to travel to Memphis.

The board voted 6-0 to amend the decision to close the Wyaconda Clinic, instead cutting the operating schedule to one day per week.



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