Dental, optical clinics to close permanently

Both the dental and optical clinics at Melissa Memorial Hospital are closing permanently, MMH announced earlier this week.

Patients are being given a 90-day notice of the closure so they can wrap some things up in the next few months. MMH is also offering them recommendations of other clinics where they can go. Patients are reminded that their records will be on file at MMH and will be available to them at any point during their transition.

“It was not an easy decision,” said MMH public affairs specialist Elizabeth Hutches. “It has been a struggle from the beginning to make it cost-effective,” she added. “It’s not financially feasible in the long term.”

MMH CEO Cathy Harshbarger said there wasn’t enough volume to sustain the dental and optical clinics.

“This is a sad moment,” Harshbarger said, but at the end of the day, MMH had to look at what was best for the hospital and its core areas of service. “We’ve had to realign ourselves so this community has a hospital for another 100 years,” she said.

The optical clinic began in May 2017, while the dental clinic kicked off with a hygienist in October 2018 and added a dentist in March 2019.

MMH got a large grant from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation to begin the dental clinic, which was ideally a four-year program to begin with. The hospital is working with the grant provider on the details of the closure.

Patients should note that Dr. Randall Smith will still be doing cataract surgery through the specialty clinic.

Holyoke Enterprise

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