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By Carmen Ensinger
Thomas H. Boyd Hospital CEO Debbie Campbell announced that they are relocating the White Hall Rural Health Clinic. Currently located in the back of Pharmacy Plus, located at 116A N. Main St., the new location will be in the Medical Building on the hospital campus located at 727 Ninth St. in Carrollton.
“The back of Pharmacy Plus has worked for years, but with the COVID restrictions and the fact that we have added another provider, it just wasn’t big enough for what we needed to do,” Campbell said. “There is nowhere for people to go when they are sick up there – they have to sit out in the hall. It just did work and now that we added another provider we just needed more room.”
The closing of the clinic will leave White Hall residents with no clinic at all. Boyd Hospital still has their clinic in Roodhouse, which Campbell said is more than willing to see any and all White Hall patients. They also have the JCH Medical Center, located in the former Whistlestop Market building.
“We have always wondered why we had two clinics so close together,” Campbell said. “And we hated that that would be the clinic that we closed because that doesn’t leave anyone at all in White Hall, but there was just no place up there for us to have a clinic that we can operate out of.”
The Rural Health Clinic started operating out of Pharmacy Plus around 10 years ago, soon after Pharmacy Plus purchased the building. Prior to that, the clinic was operated out of the old ambulance shed.
The new building on the hospital campus used to house Dr. Parcon and the administrative offices, but it has been vacant since the administrative offices were moved over to the hospital and Dr. Parcon passed on.
“There are no doctors in that building now and we are in the process of remodeling it and moving some doctors in there,” Campbell said. “Our new provider for White Hall that we recently hired, Dr. Michael McNear, will be over there and Melissa Kulp will move over there as well.”
Campbell said that the building should be ready by the first of November and expects the doctors to be able to see patients by that time as well.
“We have forwarded everything so that we don’t miss anything for the patients,” Campbell said. “They can call and they are going to get the clinic here in Carrollton. Our clinics all work as one clinic and we all have access to each other’s records so we are okay there.
As for those patients who might not have transportation to Carrollton to see their medical provider, Campbell said they have given consideration to that as well.
“They had a lot of people who walked to the clinic up there and we are trying to work with those people,” she said. “We are contacting them individually to see what we can do to accommodate them, whether we can do telephone visits with them and if they don’t have a phone, I found a program where I can get them a free cell phone that they don’t have to pay for. We are looking at what we can do to accommodate the people up there.”
And, worse case scenario, Illinois Valley Economic Development has their Tri-County Rural Transit System which provides low cost transportation. A round trip from White Hall to Carrollton for anyone up to the age of 60 would cost $4 and for anyone 60 or older, the cost would be a suggested donation and if the senior could not afford anything, that would be okay too.