University of Iowa Health Care will close its Sigourney clinic on July 27 after about 20 years of operation.
“The decision was made to focus on providing specialty services for cardiology, orthopedics, pulmonary and urology in the area, with an eye toward expanding specialty care options there,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said. “It was also determined that staff from Keokuk County Health Center had the capacity to take on the primary care services for patients who elect to switch to KCHC’s care.”
The primary clinic handled about 7,000 patient visits last year, Moore said.
The decision to close the clinic surprised Matt Iver, CEO of the Keokuk County Health Center, given that the UI clinic — which leases space from the hospital — still had seven years left on its lease.
But Iver said the 14-bed critical access hospital will expand its primary care clinic into the vacated space, and the hospital plans to recruit and hire additional primary care providers.
“It’s a two-story building, and we were kind of in the basement,” Iver said. “So this will quadruple our space.”
UI specialists come to Sigourney about six days each month, Iver said, and he hopes to grow the partnership between the hospital and UI’s specialty services.
“We’ve got an older population that can benefit from specialists coming here rather than driving 50 miles” to UIHC, he said.
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Cathy Burdock, a patient at the clinic for about 20 years, said she was disappointed with how the UI handled the closure, adding patients received letters about two weeks ago informing them the facility would close July 27.
“They just left 7,000 patients scrambling to figure out what to do,” she said. “They didn’t really inform us and never told us why they’re leaving.”