The future could be looking up at Westlake Medical Center after an emergency meeting of the board of directors recently.
According to longtime clinic physician Dr. Kenneth Derrington, the board is in the process of signing up to receive funding through the Community Foundation of the Lake to help raise money to recruit another doctor or a nurse practitioner for the primary care clinic.
The move comes after the clinic's other physician, Dr. Kathleen Robbins, recently announced that she is leaving the practice, effective March 1, to work for St. Mary's Clinic in Lake Ozark due to the financial insecurity of the situation at Westlake Medical Center.
The majority of the clinic's patients are on Medicare. This government program has kept payments to health care providers flat for close to 10 years while costs related to patient care has increased by 20 percent in that time frame, according to the American Medical Association.
Overhead for the local clinic includes rent, payroll and medical supplies. The clinic is also looking to the foundation for possible help with rent.