MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – The Muskegon Family Care health clinic serving an estimated 20,000 patients in Muskegon Heights will close at the end of March, according to a statement it released.
The clinic on Friday “made the difficult decision to terminate employees due to complicated financial statements,” states the release issued on Monday, Feb. 17.
“Our focus today and for the next several weeks will be on helping our patients find a new health care home to ensure continuity of care,” Muskegon Family Care Board President Kathy Hayes said in a statement. “We are grateful for the support other health care partners have offered in caring for our community members.”
Administrators with the health clinic could not be reached on Friday and the clinic reported its phone system was overloaded with calls. That led to concern over the timing of the clinic’s closure as terminated employees took to social media.
One concerned employee sent an email to MLive on Friday stating the clinic “abruptly closed its doors today.”
“We regret the worry this caused our patients, and we sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding,” the clinic’s interim chief executive officer, Mitze Alexander, said in a prepared statement. “However, these terminations were necessary to sustain services while MFC takes steps to responsibly wind down operations and help patients transition to other providers.”
The clinic at 2201 S. Getty St. will continue providing medical, dental, behavioral and pharmacy services until March 31, the statement says.
Other community health partners, including the public health department, indicated on Friday they had heard rumblings about the clinic’s closure but had not been told anything official.
“Staff will be working diligently to answer the high volume of calls and questions from patients, community members, and partners,” Hayes said in the statement.
In 2018, it had 20,670 patients, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health. Nearly 79 percent of those patients were at or below the poverty level, and more than 13,000 were eligible for Medicaid, according to the Bureau of Primary Health.
Muskegon Family Care has operated on an approximately $20 million budget, according to its 2018 audit.
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