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Registered nurse practitioner likely to stay at Langley Clinic, hospital says

It’s likely that registered nurse practitioner Ann Lower will remain at Langley Clinic, and many healthcare services will stay in Langley.

Whidbey General Hospital and the city of Langley are working together to ensure that primary care options remain viable in Langley and are strengthened throughout South Whidbey as a whole, said Trish Rose, a hospital spokeswoman.

Following talks with the city of Langley, the hospital has made the first steps to keep Langley Clinic open. Dr. Stan Whittemore announced last month he would close the clinic

Oct. 31.

“At this juncture, we are faced with many positive possibilities to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens of South Whidbey,” Rose said. “We are confident that through hard work and a spirit of communication we can significantly enhance the face of healthcare on South Whidbey.”

Whidbey General Hospital’s board of commissioners agreed earlier this week to keep the clinic intact by purchasing patients’ records and equipment from Whittemore’s private practice, Rose said.

They also authorized the creation of a joint committee of Whidbey General Hospital and the city of Langley that will work on how to keep the Langley Clinic open with nurse practitioner Ann Lower and other interested providers.

Candidates for the joint committee will be recommended by both hospital administrator Scott Rhine and Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson, Rose said. The city of Langley is committed to working diligently with the hospital to recruit a full-time physician to the Langley Clinic.

In the next 10 days, Rhine will be working out the details in terms of office staffing and a new lease agreement with the current landlords of the Langley Clinic.

Whittemore will cease seeing patients on Oct. 31 as planned, and begin his transition out of the clinic.

Starting Nov. 1, Lower will become employed by the hospital and continue to see patients at the clinic on a part-time basis, Rose said.

The joint committee will review possible short-term opportunities with Whidbey General Hospital’s South Whidbey facility in Freeland.

Lower will be joining Dr. Tom Harris and Dr. Tom McAnally at the South Whidbey Healthcare building in Freeland. Harris and Lower will see patients on a scheduled basis and provide urgent care, as well. McAnally is an internist and the hospital is working to recruit another internist for the facility.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarxwheatley@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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