Sherwood Medical to close Sept. 30

An estimated 2,800 Sherwood Medical Group patients have until Sept. 30 to find another health care provider before the long-time medical practice founded by the late Dr. Paul Hoque closes its doors.

A July 2 letter sent by Sherwood Clinic administrator Catherine Van Os included a toll-free number originally set up for the Hood Canal bridge closure, 1-888-DOC-6260.

People can call that number to find another health care provider, said Rhonda Curry, Olympic Medical Center's assistant administrator for strategic marketing and communications.

"It has a rotating list of doctors, and we'll be monitoring practices through this line. If one is full, then it will be taken out," Curry said.

"We've given 90 days notice; only 30 days notice is required. Hopefully, people will be able to find another

local provider.

"We're committed to working with the providers to recruit additional providers. We'll be monitoring and helping as best we can."

Hoque, one of two physicians at Sherwood Medical Group, died in late October 2008 after a two-year battle with cancer.

The clinic also had two physician assistants, Rob Dalm, who has moved to Pacific Primary Care in Sequim, and Maureen Floeting, who has moved to Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma.

Dr. Laura Kittle, who was recruited to the practice by Olympic Medical Center in March 2007, remains at the practice.

So does Dr. Peter Erickson of Port Angeles, who was recruited in April to work part time at the clinic.

At its Dec. 17, 2008, board meeting, the hospital district's board unanimously approved helping recruit a doctor for the practice.

The board also authorized signing all necessary agreements to operate the clinic at 540 W. Hendrickson Road for up to 10 months to allow time for a long-term solution.

"We've been recruiting for a primary physician since we took over the clinic and we've had no success," Curry said.

"Most doctors aren't interested in starting a solo practice. It's more attractive to join a small group or larger organization," she said.

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