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New Matamoras – New Matamoras is set to lose its healthcare clinic operated by Marietta Memorial Hospital.

The news does not go well with a group of residents of New Matamoras who form a protest group, taking their concerns publicly to stir up passions in their favor.

In a letter to patients of the Matamoras Clinic in March, Memorial CEO Scott Cantlie said the move would happen this summer. According to John Miller, a New Matamoras resident and protest group leader who recently used the clinic, there’s a sign on the door confirming that the Second Street clinic is moving this summer. The patients have been told that the three staff members, who work on a schedule Tuesday and Thursday at New Matamoras, will be transported to the St. Marys Express Care facility at Marietta Memorial.

The protest group took the name of the Matamoras Citizens Health Care Committee. Miller and Gene Beatty, who is also a New Matamoras Village Council member, met with Cantley and Luke Smith, the clinic’s vice president of operations, in early April. The meeting, however, did not resolve the issues, Miller said.

At this point, one of Miller’s main concerns is transporting senior citizens and others who don’t drive. Public transportation in the area is very limited, and many low-income residents cannot afford transportation to and from St. Marys.

The hospital refused “It’s about a 15-minute drive from Saint Marys.” It’s fake, Miller insists. He said if it’s really been 15 minutes it’s 15 minutes back, that makes it a 30 minute round trip.

There is also concern among EMS volunteers that this will mean more trips to St. Marys in addition to their coverage of areas like Newport, Graceville and Antioch, Miller said.

In terms of offering specialists at St. Marys, patients can also go to Marietta, Miller said.

Miller does not believe the village clinic’s property is unusable. He said the owner of the site had offered to sell it to MMH. It’s old and needs work, but he thinks it could be refurbished, especially because the hospital is out of date “Millions” on other properties in its system. But the building does not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and has not kept up with the issues of maintenance and modernization.

“The facility is not suitable for long-term health care,” Smith said.

Miller’s group began repeating their demands for a public meeting with hospital officials so that residents of New Matamoras could question them publicly and explain their difficulties. However, the perception that such a meeting would cause most of the city’s residents to protest may have been exaggerated, according to Smith.

The New Matamoras Clinic is staffed by nurse practitioner Kendall Neal, nurse Chris Knowlton and a receptionist.

“Kendall and her team have been communicating with all of the patients,” Smith said. She reports that there is almost no resistance to the idea of ​​such a move. In fact, most of them are very excited about the things St. Mary’s will be able to offer them. Things like walking are welcome. Same-day or next-day care. Ancillary services such as x-rays. rotating specialists.

“What they can get now in New Matamoras is primary care, two days a week,” Smith continued. “What we’re trying to do is shift primary care in Mid Valley Ohio, move our practices to five days a week, and ensure same-day or next-day care. And that’s what we’re trying to do in the case of New Matamoras. We’re trying to move all of our resources together to run St. Mary’s Six.” days a week instead of five, and our goal is to get to seven days a week.”

He said that this move will affect a very large area in a very good way. It is not really about losing, saving or making money. It is about continuing to push the health care system to improve primary care across.

Smith also has an interesting statistic to offer about 800-850 individuals in the New Matamoras Clinic service area. He cites the hospital’s claim that 95% of them are located within 15 minutes of St. Marys. But he also says half of them are closer to St. Mary’s than New Matamoras.

“I think there is a small group that is very excited about this,” Smith said. “And I understand that. We were actually looking for places that might be suitable in New Matamoras if we could manage to send Kendall one day a week.”

He said workable spaces are somewhat scarce.

“There is still some time before this move happens,” smith said, “And if there are useful things we can do, we’ll look at them.”

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