Hospital exploring options for Family Health Centers

By Julia Green
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks regarding the fate of the two family health centers located in Roxbury and Margaretville that fall under the purview of Margaretville Hospital.
While Margaretville Hospital Executive Director Edmond Morache said that the hospital is considering a number of different options concerning the forward direction of the clinics, nothing has been decided quite yet.
“We are looking at a couple of different models as to how to run the family health centers,” he said. “One could include having them taken over by a private physician, another could be bringing a physician up here to manage them for us. But nothing has been set in stone at this moment. There is a doctor that we are speaking to, but there have been no contracts signed.
“We are trying to figure out what will be the best way to provide the highest-quality care,” he added. “There are a lot of rumors, but there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Morache said that in his opinion, the possibility that the clinics could be operated by a private physician would afford many benefits: primarily, continuity of care. The physician with whom the hospital is currently in discussions owns a home in the area and has expressed interest in assuming responsibility for both clinics.
Morache estimated that the clinics have seen eight physicians over the past few years, and said that he hopes the new direction of the clinics would limit such frequent turnover.
“It’s primarily to provide a steady source of care in the community and attract a physician that’s going to be here for a long period of time,” he said. “That’s our greatest hope: we want people to have continuity.”
Also of concern to those who frequent the clinics is the fate of Dr. Susan Fiore, who has been serving the Margaretville clinic for a number of years.
“We would like Dr. Fiore to stay on, and we would do everything we possibly could to make that happen,” Morache said. “Dr. Fiore has been a staple of this community for a long time and I’d like to think she’d continue to be a staple of this community.”
Morache declined to suggest a target date by which the hospital would come to a decision on the fate of the clinics, but said that hopes to develop something in the next few months.