St. Francis will close 3 clinics in county

by Clarke Davis
Three St. Francis Health Center clinics in Jefferson County are closing and being consolidated into the Valley Falls clinic.
The medical clinics in Nortonville, Winchester, and Oskaloosa will close Oct. 16.
The physicians, Dr. James Rider and Dr. Larry Campbell, and Nicole Potts, an advanced practical nurse, will begin seeing patients in the Valley Falls clinic starting Monday, Oct. 19.
The hours at the Valley Falls clinic will be expanded and include two late nights and even some Saturday hours.
Closing the clinics is a cost-cutting measure and, according to Dr. Rider, individually the four clinics are too small to support the technology required in today’s health care environment.
“We have been run over by the wheels of progress,” Rider said.
He noted that the bandwidth required along with the security employed in health records, Medicare mandates, and being connected to the hospital is all cost prohibitive for a small clinic that may only be open a couple days a week.
Rider began practicing medicine in Valley Falls in July 1978 and purchased the clinic three years later. He was joined in business by Campbell in 1991 and they expanded the number of clinics. Both doctors became employed by the St. Francis health system in June 1997 but continued ownership in the buildings that house the clinics.
“We wanted to serve those communities and keep alive the legacy in health care left by the late Dr. Willard Madison at Nortonville and the late Dr. F.W. Huston at Winchester,” Rider said.
“We are hopeful the patients will continue to be served by the local health care providers,” Rider said. “We can’t change it, so we’ll work with it.”
The doctors have not decided what they will do with the other three buildings. “We have no plans,” he said.
There has been a loss of one job in the consolidation. Employed at the Valley Falls clinic will be the three professionals, five nurses, four clerical personnel, and an office manager. The manager, Stephanie Steinlicht, will divide her time between the Valley Falls clinic and another St. Francis clinic in northwest Topeka, an area known as Hunter’s Ridge.

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Posted by on Oct 20 2015. Filed under Featured, The Independent, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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