Officials pushing to keep Linden clinic operational

Officials pushing to keep Linden clinic operational
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 9:28am

Officials in Linden are making a concerted effort to keep a doctors’ clinic open under new management after Good Shepherd Medical Center announced in February it would close at the end of April.

“We feel pretty good about being able to do it,” Linden Mayor Clarence Burns said this past week. “It is very important to our community.”

No agreements have been finalized, but Burns said he was confident a deal would be done by the time Good Shepherd is set to close the clinic April 30.

The city is in negotiations with two firms, he said, and one of them is particularly promising. Burns declined to identify the firms that are exploring taking over the clinic.

Along with the clinic in Linden, a Good Shepherd Medical Associates Family Health Center clinic in Hughes Springs also is set to close at the end of April.

Good Shepherd officials said last month the hospital was closing after amassing more than $12 million in losses in the nine years it has been owned by GSMC. The average daily patient census has been fewer than five, and average emergency room visits have been fewer than one patient per hour, Good Shepherd said.

“We understand about the hospital and the financial aspect of it,” Burns said. “But the clinic has a large patient load, and we feel it is very viable.”

Wednesday afternoon, the parking lot of the clinic was almost full, and a reporter found standing room only inside.

Burns said the need for the clinic to remain is obvious, citing the distances from Linden to other significant hospitals in East Texas.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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