Newman Regional to close three rural facilities

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – Patients of three medical clinic in Northeast Kansas are worried after getting the news those clinics will permanently close their doors, in three weeks. That is when Newman Regional Health will be shuttering its clinics in rural communities surrounding its headquarters in Lyon County.

“I’m just afraid that maybe community members and students may not get the medical attention they need if this clinic closes,” said Lisa Crettol.

Lisa Crettol is the school nurse in Osage City. She sends about 20 children a week to the Newman Regional clinic in Osage City that will soon shut its doors. It and another primary care clinic in Madison, a medical equipment outlet in Osage City, as well as a surgery clinic in Eureka will close August 1st.

That is a problem for people who call Osage City Home.

“If they’re going out of town to visit their doctors, if they have to go on a routine basis, they’re not going to come back,” said Mandy Gibson, Osage City business owner.

Gibson’s worry, see a doctor somewhere else, go to the pharmacy somewhere else too. This clinic, one of two in Osage City, and the only one operated by Newman has only been open for a year.

The Osage City clinic gets three to four new patients a day. But because of Kansas law, Newman regional will have to shut its doors.

The company says it has been advised that “Kansas law does not allow county hospitals to fund facilities outside their home county…” that is Lyon County.

“Both clinics are very busy all the time. It’s just sad to know that maybe children and community members will have to wait that extra day or two to get into an appointment with that other clinic in town,” said Crettol.

This clinic alone has many as 1600 patients who now need to look elsewhere for their medical care.

“To lose such a great care provider when you have children or illnesses of any kind. it’s a real shame,” said Jodie Karns, Osage City resident.

The company says the five employees at the Osage City and Madison clinics have been offered jobs at the company’s Emporia clinic.

Meanwhile, State Representative Don Hill of Emporia says, “I have been aware of this situation for the last two weeks and have researched the issue. The statutes are not crystal clear on the situation and I have been advised clarification through legislation would be pretty straight forward. Of course the legislature is not back in session until January. I am concerned anytime access to health care services are limited.”

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