Community Clinic Closing in March

After serving more than 4,000 patients since opening its doors in 2000, the Community Clinic of Door County is winding down operations and will close on March 31, 2016. Both the Sturgeon Bay office and its Sister Bay satellite will close.

Why? Mission accomplished, said Executive Director Jane Herlitz.

“Our mission has always been to provide care to patients that are without insurance who fall within the poverty guidelines,” she said.

“We’ve done an extensive evaluation over many months of patient participation at the clinic. We’ve reviewed many different options for the clinic and, ultimately, made the determination that based on the fact that a community clinic is truly a volunteer driven provider clinic – in other words all of our med providers are primarily volunteer – and the fact that our patient volume has dropped substantially, mostly due to the Affordable Care Act and that many people have now obtained insurance.”

The clinic had offered primary care and mental health services. When the Wellness Clinic closed abruptly in March 2013, the Community Clinic took over family planning and reproductive health care services.

When the Affordable Care Act began in 2014, the Community Clinic had a volunteer certified consultant work with patients to enroll in the ACA.

“It really changed our structure and it has impacted our patient population greatly,” Herlitz said. “And the fact that we really feel like any patients that are left will be serviced by other providers. We felt it was time not to duplicate services and to complete our mission.”

How does one go about pulling the plug?

“We have now formally notified all of our active patients,” Herlitz said. “We have also notified our donors and we going to do this slowly and methodically so that it is handled in an appropriate manner so everybody has the necessary tools they need to move their health care forward.”

Herlitz said the clinic staff will continue seeing patients to assist with medication refills or to help them find a new health care provider. Through Jan. 31, patients can sign a release to have their medical records forwarded to a new provider.

“I think rather than looking at this as a negative, really look at this and celebrate it as a positive,” Herlitz said. “I think it’s a good thing that we’ve achieved our mission. We truly enjoyed getting to know the patient population we had here at the clinic. We are incredibly grateful for our donors and volunteers and the patients that we served.”

Contact the Community Clinic at 920.746.8989 x101 to schedule your appointment.

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