Changes coming to Moffat Family Clinic

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Dr. Larry Kipe said changes are coming to Moffat Family Clinic in 2011.

“Pretty soon, I’ll be the sole owner,” Kipe said. “There will be just me and a (physician’s assistant) here.”

The clinic, located at 600 Russell St., is losing two of its physicians.

Dr. Catherine Crowe is leaving at the end of the year, and Dr. Greg Roberts is leaving in spring 2011.

Kipe said he has no immediate plans to fill the vacancies.

“In the long term, we plan to do that, but that takes a year-and-a-half to two years of recruitment,” he said. “And, it’s kind of a struggling time, financially, for businesses right now, so we need to make sure that we can stay open and be financially sound before we hire anyone else.”

In the meantime, Kipe said he and the PA at Moffat Family Clinic would absorb Crowe and Roberts’ patients as the need arises.

“Yes, we will,” he said. “We’re trying to find a way to keep open more hours and have more available slots per doctor and PA so we can still service the population that we want to service at our clinic.

“And, certainly we have no plans — or even thoughts — that we’ll go out of business.”

Kipe said he doesn’t have individual numbers on how many patients Crowe and Roberts serve.

Roberts confirmed he is leaving.

“I am,” Roberts said. “I’m moving to Minnesota next summer.”

Roberts said his wife has a job opportunity through the Methodist church.

Crowe declined comment on her planned Dec. 31 departure, but stressed it was amicable.

Kipe agreed.

“Catherine has been with us for over a decade, and I think she’s been in town almost 30 years,” Kipe said. “We’re not leaving on bad terms, we’re leaving on great terms.”

Kipe said he reviews the clinic’s financial status frequently, and hopes the economic situation in Craig improves.

“I would hope so, but it’s hard,” he said of the economy. “I just saw in the paper this week that 700-something people are unemployed in Moffat County.

“It’s tough for people right now, and they’ve put off a lot of elective things and wellness. People don’t come in for physicals when they’re strapped for money. They don’t pay for preventative-type care because they have more immediate concerns than what might happen in a few years.

“But, economies go up and they go down, and I’m sure things will turn around. We’re fortunate to be in a coal-industry town, so that’s good.”

However, if and when the economy rebounds, Kipe said it is difficult to recruit doctors to Craig.

Part of the reason is the on-call hours that are required of Moffat Family Clinic physicians, Kipe said.

“It’s just a lifestyle thing,” he said. “(Doctors) don’t want to take calls anymore and be responsible (for patients) at night. They want to work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and go home.

“That’s just the new breed of doctors.”

Kipe said he’s not interested in the new breed.

“Here, we just have a different philosophy,” Kipe said of his clinic. “I’m not after somebody who doesn’t want to take care of people when they go to the hospital.

“We’re really looking at an old-fashioned family doctor who delivers babies and takes care of you from when you’re born all the way until you die.”

Kipe said focusing on specialized medicine and eliminating on-call physician hours would disrupt continuity of care, and it’s not something he foresees for his clinic.

“We don’t want a fragmented type of system where somebody gets care for one thing here and gets care for another thing somewhere else, and nobody knows what the big picture is,” he said.

Comments

justoncrack 3 years, 11 months ago

Just a few thoughts.

Not sure who this "new breed of doctors" are. All the new docs I've met and seen in town are dedicated, concerned and seem to work round the clock, unlike Dr. Kipe who seems to be on vacation monthly. If Dr. Kipe is the old breed, I think I prefer the new breed.

Moffat Family Clinic will be closed in less than a year. Their track record for retaining physicians is dismal at best. How many have they gone through in the last few years? Dr. Johnson, Dr. Reishus, Dr. Huffmire, Dr. Reilly, Dr. Philips, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Crow and probably a few other I can't recall. If they're interested in employing such great doctors, why can't they get any of them to stay?

Lastly, I'm guessing by the overall lack of comments, the community of Craig ain't too concerned about the downfall of Moffat Family Clinic. I know I'm not.

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DAILYREADER 3 years, 11 months ago

I have used Dr. Kipe for many years and he has always been right on target for any ailment i was having. His treatment suggestions have always taken care of my issue.

I feel that we are fortunate to have him in our community.

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McGruber 3 years, 11 months ago

Too funny justoncrack!

"I’m not after somebody who doesn’t want to take care of people when they go to the hospital."-huh? what doctors do this?

“We’re really looking at an old-fashioned family doctor who delivers babies and takes care of you from when you’re born all the way until you die.”-If you have a serious health problem and do not go to a specialist then you need to have your head examined (probably by a specialist).

Really the bashing of " the new breed of doctors" is silly and misplaced. I guess some kind of scapegoat had to be found for a failing business.

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David Moore 3 years, 11 months ago

Just some FYI on this:

Dr's Huffmire and Reishus were the founders of the Moffat Family Clinic when it was started in the north end of the old hospital over 30 years ago, Dr. Kipe arrived shortly after if memory serves me right. Dr. Reishus just retired after 35 years and Dr. Huffmire retired as well several years ago. Dr. Reilly moved away for a different job, unsure on the details but it was not due to anything wrong at the clinic as far as I know. Dr. Roberts is leaving because his wife has come into an opportunity elsewhere and Dr. Phillips found a better deal with the hospital. After 30 something years Dr. Crowe is retiring as well. All have given outstanding service and dedication to the health of the citizens of Craig and should be thanked for it. Thank you Doctors!! On a side note, it is thrilling to hear of the possible recruitment of a Pediatrician, we have needed one for a long time and it will be a welcome addition to the medical family of Craig.

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