UI Health Care to Close North Liberty Location

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 -

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- One of the fastest growing communities in Iowa is losing some doctors. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics told patients about the coming changes in North Liberty with a letter, last week.

UIHC will halt family medicine services at 3 Lions Drive, June 28th. Occupational health and dialysis services will remain there.

The letter reveals UIHC will halt family medicine services at 3 Lions Drive, June 28th. Occupational health and dialysis services will remain there.

Family medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, and staff will relocate to three other UIHC clinics in Iowa City, Coralville, and a pediatrics clinic in North Liberty. That pediatrics clinic will also gain an additional new family medicine provider, but, despite the addition, North Liberty overall will have a net loss of two family medicine providers.

"I think it's a sad day for the clinic, the city of North Liberty," said Mayor Terry Donahue, during a Tuesday city council meeting.

Donahue and the rest of the council had only recently found out about the changes through the letters sent to clinic patients.

The messages left some concerned, discovering they may soon need to travel several miles to get to their care providers following the relocation.

The mayor had a lot of questions. Primarily, why would UIHC reduce its overall footprint in a growing town?

"What is going on?" said Donahue. "Hopefully we can still have a chance to meet with the chief of operations on that. But we haven't had contact with them."

In a statement to TV9, Wednesday, University of Iowa Spokesman Tom Moore said officials at UIHC are constantly looking at ways to be more efficient and cost-effective.

"Moving our family medicine providers from the Lions Drive location to other local clinics allows us to optimize our use of available clinic space," said Moore. "We remain committed to serving the North Liberty community, with local family medicine providers moving to newer facilities in the area."

While UIHC's medical footprint will soon be shrinking in North Liberty-- there's still plenty of opportunities to expand there in the future.

The UI has an undeveloped 40-acre plot at Highway 965 and Forevergreen Road. The University bought it around the start of 2011 for $11.7 million.

Plans originally called for a new $6 million clinic there, replacing the Lions Drive facility. But, despite getting Board of Regent approval to plan the project in February of 2011, the land has sat unutilized.

The University said in a recent statement to TV9 the land is "part of a long-range plan that is still in development."



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