WhidbeyHealth closes its Clinton clinic for primary care

WhidbeyHealth closed its clinic in Clinton to primary care patients Friday and plans to reopen it as a laboratory and diagnostic imaging facility July 1.

Lab Services will continue to be available 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays only from June 3 to July 1 at the facility, located at 11245 Highway 525.

WhidbeyHealth administrators gave a different story when The Record on May 22 asked if Clinton patients were being notified of the change in primary care services.

“We have not made a decision on closing Clinton,” CEO Ron Telles responded in an emailed statement then. “We will be reviewing all locations and services for expansion or changes as we proceed with our strategic planning sessions that will be occurring soon.”

However, at the same time, staff at the Clinton clinic were informing patients they needed to set up primary care services elsewhere.

“Clinton patients were notified weeks ago about their primary care. It will be in Freeland if they so choose,” Practice Manager Colleen Clark responded June 3 in an email to questions sent by The Record. “We have not changed any lab service hours. We have always had Monday as a lab day in Clinton.”

The change will bring much-needed ancillary services, she explained.

“We have not had a consistent imaging service in the south end of our island,” Clark said. “We will be dedicating Clinton as an ancillary service hub, with lab, imaging, mammography. This will be an added service.

The Clinton location had two primary care providers, one of whom is switching to another medical field, Clark explained.

“We did not see many patients there,” she said. “I believe we had less than 2,000 patients.”

A medical assistant and a social worker who worked at the Clinton clinic were transferred to Coupeville, Clark said, and a receptionist will remain in Clinton.

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