ELK MOUND, Wis. (WEAU) - Families in Dunn County will need to travel farther for health care, with a clinic closing its doors.
Marshfield Clinic announced it will close its Elk Mound Center that has offered primary care for the past five years.
Five employees will lose their jobs, with a chance to apply to other openings. People in the community said Tuesday they're disappointed that they're being forced to travel at least 12 more miles to see a doctor.
Patient care was wonderful, doctors and nurses; everyone was so wonderful to work with. (It) gave you that small town feel and always willing to help.
“I liked about that it was three minutes away, versus a half an hour away in Eau Claire,” Elk Mound Center patient Neosha Clinkner said.
“It's awful. It's one of the worst decisions you can make to have to go to communicate to a group of people, there's 5 employees there who have done everything that we've asked them to do. They've had early morning hours, late hours, they've reached out to the community and to be able to tell them that they’re going to not have jobs at that center is about as difficult as it gets in this job,” Marshfield Clinic District Administrator Scott Polenz said.
He said the decision was made because fewer patients are coming there for care.
“Because of high deductible plans and costly healthcare, people aren't coming into the clinic as much as they used to,” Polenz said.
The clinic is scheduled to close Sept. 19, offering options of going to Eau Claire or Menomonie.
“I guess I just feel like maybe it's time for a change (of providers)” Clinkner said.
“We do understand that people have choices and they may go someplace else,” Polenz said.
“I'm sure it will create some difficulty. We liked having it there. It's a beautiful facility. So it's too bad,” Elk Mound Village Board Member Tom Gilbert said.
“It was a great resource and opportunity for many of our kids to utilize. And that will be greatly missed, Elk Mound Middle School Principal and school safety instructor Eric Wright said.
Marshfield Clinic said it also picked the Elk Mound Center to close because of its proximity to Eau Claire and Menomonie Clinics. There are no plans for the future of the building.