Hospital 'Pleased' Deal Reached To Keep Clinic Open
It's taken a lot of work to get there, but officials at Samaritan Medical Center are happy to help the North Country Children's Clinic stay open."We're very, very pleased that we've been able to come up with something that will hold us over for about a month until we can come up together with a long-term plan," said hospital spokesperson Krista Kittle. Kittle was interviewed live Friday in the 7 News This Morning studio. Click on the picture for the full interview. See our story for more details on the deal reached Thursday to keep the clinic open. "It's been a very intense week of talks," Kittle said. Samaritan is loaning the Children's Clinic $200,000 -- enough to operate until the end of October -- and will run the facility for 180 days, or about six months. The clinic serves around 10,000 patients a year, most of whom don't have access to any other health care because of the lack of facilities that take Medicaid. Closing the clinic would have had a wide-ranging impact, Kittle said. "We recognize not only the impact that would have had on the patients and the children, but also on the rest of resources for health care in the community," she said. "It was a no-brainer, really," she said. "We needed to step in. There was just no way we could let it close." Kittle said the hospital has no plans to operate the clinic permanently. "We have no intention of being in there long term," she said. "This is really just an opportunity for us to help them get through a very difficult time and continue to meet the needs of the community." The hospital's role, she said, is to help assess the way the clinic operates and to "come up with a long-term solution so that we have a viable clinic that is stable and able to continue to meet the needs of the community for many years to come."