KDMC to close center in Coal Grove

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

COAL GROVE - Barely a year after it opened, King's Daughters Medical Center's Coal Grove Family Care Center will close its doors February 20.

Even though KDMC bought the 6,000-plus patient list from Tri-State Physicians Network, there was just not enough demand for the health care services, said public relations specialist Julie Marsh.

"King's Daughters tried to fill a void in the Coal Grove community after the previous provider closed," she said. "After a year of business, there just was not enough patient volume to sustain the practice."

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Last February, KDMC opened two new family care centers in Coal Grove and Kitts Hill and relocated the Ironton center. The hospital will continue to operate the family care centers in Burlington, Aid/Kitts Hill and Ironton.

Staffed with KDMC personnel, the other three centers will continue to provide similar services as those that are available at family physician offices.

These centers are equipped with x-ray capabilities but rely on the hospital for emergency care.

The opening of Our Lady of Bellefonte's Urgent Care Center in Ironton did not contribute to this decision, it just became obvious that KDMC did not need four centers in Lawrence County, Marsh said.

Letters were mailed to all the Coal Grove patients last week. Unless they choose otherwise, all patient records will be transferred to Burlington but patients can still visit any of the family care centers, all of which have continued to show steady growth, Marsh said.

The physician from the Coal Grove center, Dr. Arash Kayfan, will see patients at the Burlington Family Care Center beginning March 1. The three other staff members will be transferred to other family care centers or other positions at the hospital, Marsh said.

Coal Grove Councilman Kenneth Pyles said that losing a business is certainly not good for the village, but was probably unavoidable.

"I hate to hear it. Any type of business you lose is never good," he said. "But if it is not there for them, it just isn't there."

At least village residents will still have several other health care options just a few miles away, Pyles said.