Newton hospital’s clinic to close in Hillsboro

The Medical Plaza of Hillsboro, a satellite clinic of Newton Medical Center, will be closing soon, according to Steve Kelly, NMC chief executive officer. Kelly said the climate for medical services has changed for the better since the clinic opened about one year ago. Don Ratzlaff / Free PressAbout one year after opening the Medical Plaza of Hillsboro, Newton Medical Center will be closing its satellite clinic at 122 N. Main St.

Steve Kelly, NMC chief executive officer, said the clinic likely will cease operation ?toward the end of the month.?

Kelly said NMC decided in 2013 to open a clinic in Hillsboro not to compete with Hillsboro Community Hos?pital, but to be in a position to provide medical services to the community if HCH could not continue operating.

?We really thought the hospital was going to fold,? Kelly said, noting the financial issues facing HMC/CAH Consolidated, the company that owns HCH. ?It was in bankruptcy, and they had promised a new hospital for a long time.?

Circumstances changed over the ensuing year, he said.

?Since that time, they?ve recruited another doctor, Dr. (Greg) Erb. He?s real personable and seems to do a good job,? Kelly said. ?Then, Alisa Schmidt is a hometown girl, and she finishes (medical training) this summer. I don?t know Dr. (Michael) Reeh, but you?ve got a good base (in Hillsboro).

The financial outlook changed as well.

?Talking to the hospital folks there, they say that financially they are doing better than they have in a long time. So it looks stable there now.?Steve Kelly, CEO of Newton Medical Center

Meanwhile, the physician serving at the Medical Plaza will be changing the focus of his medical practice.

?Our Dr. (Brett) Nedich is looking to become a hospitalist, and so he will probably go with the (Newton) hospital,? Kelly said. ?That?s really where his heart is.

?With all of this converging, it didn?t make sense to continue (the clinic).?

Kelly said NMC?s relationship with HCH has become mutually cooperative.

?We?ve hooked up with them so if they send patients down (to NMC) for admission, or tests that they can?t do there, they have access to all that data electronically,? he said. ?They have a portal into our facility now, so that gives them real-time information.?

Kelly said Marion Regier, the CEO at HCH, now serves on NMC?s advisory council and are open to working together in other ways.

For example, NMC continues to own the property it cleared directly west of Wendy?s restaurant on East D Street in Hillsboro.

?If sometime in the future it makes sense to work together to build a clinic together, then we?re open to that,? Kelly said.

Regier said the relationship between the two hospitals is positive.

?Steve and I have met several times over the last year, just trying to build that relationship,? Regier said. ?We definitely want to collaborate with them where we can, and refer to them when we need specialists.

?We really appreciated them working with us as closely as they did,? she added. ?They sent a lot of diagnostic tests to us, which we appreciated.?

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