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The Lake News Online
  • Clinic will hold town hall meeting

  • Westlake Medical Center will be holding a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Osage Community Elks Lodge in Laurie.
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  • Westlake Medical Center will be holding a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Osage Community Elks Lodge in Laurie. The board of directors will be providing the community with an update on the status of the not-for-profit primary care clinic.
    Earlier this year, several Westside residents rallied to support Westlake Medical Center after Dr. Kenneth Derrington went public with the clinic's financial status.
    With close to 90 percent of its patients on Medicare, low reimbursement rates from the government have caused financial hardship for the facility. The board of directors has also struggled to attract and maintain providers at the clinic to spread out expenses and boost revenues.
    At one point, there was concern that the clinic would have to lay off some of its employees or possibly close the facility which has been a fixture at Laurie Terrace Mall for many years.
    The clinic was originally designed to have four practictioners, but has not had that number for some time.
    Over the last several months, the clinic had one of its two doctors leave to practice elsewhere, and another doctor hired subsequently only lasted a few months before leaving. Dr. Derrington, the longtime physician at the clinic and its director, was injured in a bicycle accident in July and part time physicians were brought in temporarily to keep the facility open.
    Dr. Derrington returned to the practice in late August, and Dr. Ismael Aguilo-Rodriguez came on board in early September.
    With two doctors again working at the clinic, the staffing needs of the practice have been fulfilled, according to a press release from the board of directors.
    The clinic will remain open and continues to see patients.
    In April, the Elks held a fundraiser dinner in support of the clinic, and the medical center has been the recipient of generous donations from the community.
    To find out more about the status of the clinic, the public is encouraged to attend the town hall meeting.
    In celebration of the clinic staying open, Westlake Medical Center will also host an open house for the community to meet the new doctor from 12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. There will be barbecue sliders, chips and a drink served.
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