TRMC closes Carefist clinic

Published 6:25 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Citing the need to realign resources, Troy Regional Medical Center closed its Carefirst Urgent Care Clinic effective Friday.

The clinic, which opened some 17 months ago, provided urgent care for patients in Pike and surrounding counties. It averaged about 25 patients per day and was overseen by Dr. Chuck Wood.

“The medical care provided by Carefirst has been second to none,” said Jennifer Ventress, chief clinical officer for TRMC. “But at this time, we feel those resources invested in Carefirst could be better utilized in other strategic areas for the medical center.”

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Ventress said the decision to close came after the Troy Hospital Authority’s Board of Directors reviewed the 2012 strategic plan for the hospital. “There are many factors weighing in on this very important decision,” she said. “It was not a decision that came quickly or easily for any of us.”

The clinic employed approximately seven staff members. Wood, the medical director, also maintains a private practice and will continue to do so, as well as join the TRMC staff as a hospitalist. “As for the others, we absorbed all the employees who wanted to stay,” Ventress said. “And Elizabeth Flint, the certified registered nurse practitioner who worked at the clinic, has joined the staff of Pike Internal Medicine.”

All patient records, including those absorbed from the closure of Troy Pediatrics more than a year ago, will remain with TRMC. “Patients can obtain their records by contacting our medical records department,” Ventress said.

Along with the clinic closure, Ventress said the hospital is realigning its hospitalist schedule to a seven-day rotation. “This will be a great benefit to the patients,” she said. “Our average hospital stay is 3.2 days and with this rotation – one in which the doctors work seven days on, then seven days off – chances are good that you’re going to see one person throughout your entire stay,” she said.

In addition, TRMC continues to recruit primary care as well as other physicians. During the past year, three additional physicians have joined the staff: Paul Dulaney, M.D., gynecology; Tom Peurifoy, M.D., general surgery; and Julie Orender, M.D., family practice, who works as a hospitalist. “The addition of these physicians has been so exciting for Troy Regional, but also has created the need for additional office space,” Ventress said. “The space currently being used by Carefirst can now be used for physician space, and we hope to put it to good use soon.”

TRMC is a 97-bed facility that employs approximately 260 people and serves a five-county area with a patient population of about 55,000.

The hospital is owned by the Troy Health Care Authority, which operates under the City of Troy.