Trust Bails Out Financially Strapped Clinic

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A week into the job as the new executive director of the North Country Children's Clinic and Dan Wasneeczak found out the clinic didn't have enough money to pay its bills.

Now in week five of his tenure, the Watertown Local Development Corporation (Watertown Trust) bailed the clinic out with a $125,000 loan and some advice on how to run the non-profit.

"It's really difficult for the agency to deliver critical services without a secure financial future. We're trying to be a team here and create a plan for bettering the agency in the future," said Don Alexander, said Trust board member.

The deal is this: The Children's Clinic gets the money, pays its bills, receives an expected $275,000 grant from the federal government in October and then pays back the Watertown Trust.

So, how did the clinic come up short?

It's waiting on some federal grants set to come in October, but at the root of it, Alexander says it's a lack of 'internal controls' at the clinic that caused this problem. 

"What happened in the past, I can't tell you for certain, but I can tell you right now, I don't plan on repeating those same mistakes," said Wasneeczak.

Alexander says without the clinic, he doesn't know what would happen to the working poor who use it.
 
"I don't know where these folks are going to find healthcare services. It would be lacking in the community without the Children's Clinic," said Alexander.

Something that might happen if shortfalls like this one happen again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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