In the past week, Dr. Curtis Black completed his obligation and moved his family to a new opportunity in Oregon. In addition, Lyman Duncan was relieved of duties as financial officer of the district.
Since December, 2013, the district has seen the loss of three physicians – Drs Black, Paul Reay and Bryce Peterson - and the administrative team of Phil Lowe and Duncan.
At the same time, the district has experienced a financial crisis caused, in part, by challenges related to a new electronic medical records program. The district said that despite the financial and employee challenges, the hospital and clinics have full medical coverage.
“We have doctors and mid-level full providers in our hospital and clinics every day,” said District CEO Laurie Schafer.
Dr. Kelly Jeppesen is currently the only permanent physician in the district, along with two physician’s assistants and a nurse practitioner.
Dr. Welker is working Monday through Thursday for the next 3.5 months.
Schafer said Dr. Lance Allan and Dr. Peterson provide ER coverage. Other “locum tenens” doctors fill any gaps in coverage.
Schafer reports that family practice physician Dr. Catherine Harrington has signed a contract and will begin practicing in San Juan County in November.
Dr. Harrington is coming from Texas with a husband and five children.
Schafer said Dr. Harrington looks forward to beginning a new practice in San Juan County.
Schafer adds that the recruitment of additional physicians is ongoing. The goal is to have two additional family practice physicians, in addition to the administrative team.