New clinic contract sought

DAYTON – Community leaders in Dayton hope to secure a contract with the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge in order to keep a clinic open in their city.

”It’s our recommendation to pursue a contract with Community Health Center of Fort Dodge,” Ken Sanders, a member of a committee leading the effort to replace the Van Diest Medical Center clinic that’s slated to close, told the Dayton City Council Wednesday.

”We found this is probably our only option at the present time,” he added. ”We can’t just sit back and do nothing.”

City Council members Kevin Diehl, Mark Knudtson, Eric Skoglund and Beth Wickwire voted to endorse the effort to secure a contract with the Community Health Center. Mayor Richard Travis was absent.

Sanders said members of his committee have been invited to address the Community Health Center’s board when it meets on April 22.

He added that if a contract is approved, someone from Dayton will serve on the center’s board.

Diehl said an early version of the proposed contract calls for the Dayton community to pay rent and utilities for the clinic building at 24 S. Main St. for the first six months after the Community Health Center begins operating the clinic. He said the Health Center would then take over responsibility for those costs.

If a contract is approved, it will take 60 days for the Community Health Center to set up the clinic, according to information presented to the City Council.

About $10,000 was raised in Dayton to help Van Diest Medical Center, of Webster City, open its clinic last year, and Sanders said he hopes some of that money can be used to support the hoped-for debut of a facility operated by the Community Health Center.

That money came from donations and groups like the Dayton Community Club, not the city government.

Dayton officials and representatives of Van Diest Medical Center announced the debut of the new clinic in May 2013.

At that time, the community had no medical facility of that type because the McCrary-Rost Clinic closed in December 2012.

The clinic is staffed by a nurse practioner and a nurse.

The Van Diest Medical Center board of trustees voted to close the clinic during its March 18 meeting. Medical center leaders cited an anticipated $70,000 annual loss as the reason for closing it.

The clinic is expected to close during the third week in June.

The Community Health Center of Fort Dodge operates a clinic at 126 N. 10th St. It was established in 2006, and charges fees based on a patient’s ability to pay.