September 4, 2013

Baptist closes Lily clinic

Primary Care doctors, nurse practitioners will not lose jobs

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Baptist Health Primary Care of  Lily on south U.S. 25 did not accept any more patients as of Friday, Aug. 30.

Representatives from Baptist Health informed the facility’s employees Monday morning, Aug. 26, of the closing.

Margaret Zoellers, who is a part-time nurse practitioner, said she was told the closing was due to restructuring.

“The corporation was restructuring for financial reasons,” she said.

“It’s sad,” she added. “The patients are understandably upset. It’s an unfortunate situation, especially for our patients. I had patients in there yesterday (Tuesday) crying.”

Melinda Hagan, one of Zoellers’ patients, said she was devastated by the closing.

“I’m a lupus patient and it took me five years to find somebody who would give me good care as opposed to substandard care and they’re giving me four days with no options,” she said. “She is the only primary care provider that I have had since being diagnosed with lupus that actually took the time and consideration to help me. Most doctors want to herd you like cattle as opposed to actually giving you care. A lot of doctors before would tell you to take the pain medicine and go home. She’s never been that way. She wants to attack the problem. I’m following her wherever she goes. I told her she could use my house as her office.”

Hagan said she called Baptist Health Corbin and they told her the reason for closing the facility was “business.”

The primary health care clinic had been open since January 1.

Zoellers had been working at the facility since Dec. 1, 2008. It was then called WHA Primary Care.

Debbie Hardin, director of Strategic Services at Baptist Health Corbin, said in a press release Thursday, “effective Sept. 1 Baptist Health Primary Care of Lily will be consolidated and merged with other existing Baptist Health clinic locations.  The medical providers, Dr. Akif Ahmad, Ms. Janey Phipps (APRN), and Ms. Margaret Zoellers (APRN), along with the patients they serve, will be redirected to other local Baptist clinics to continue medical services without any disruption to care. Patients will be able to receive the same quality care by their same provider in a new location.”

Dr. Ahmad will begin seeing patients at Baptist Health Primary Care of London at 100 London Mountain View Dr., phone 330-4140; Janey Phipps, APRN, will begin seeing patients at Baptist Health Cardiology and Internal Medicine at 15 Moonbow Plaza, Corbin, phone 606-528-5331; and Zoellers will begin seeing patients at Baptist Health Heart Specialists, 45 Moonbow Plaza, Corbin, phone 606-523-9010.

The press release did not specify what will happen to seven other employees at the Lily location.