Letter: More on the closure of Coastside Family Medical Clinic


By on Mon, March 16, 2009

Posted by Katharine Weber.

This from Barb Neilson, who worked at the clinic for several years:

Dear Friends,

I suspect that some of you have heard but I wanted to share with you this very sad and upsetting news myself. Coastside Family Medical Center closed it’s doors at noon today permanently and will be filing for bankruptcy.

It was a shock to the staff as they only received the news this morning. The administration did everything in their power to make this work but the combination of the economy, increased county patients, insurances slow payments made it impossible for us to purchase things that we needed to give quality healthcare.They have been in many meetings with the County and Mills Peninsula but to no avail.They were only told last night themselves that we were to close today.

My concern is for the staff ,needless to say as there are 35 unemployed individuals many of whom are the breadwinners for their families. Please let me know if you have any insight on jobs for some fantastic medical assistants,financial and front desk staff.

I am also VERY concerned for the patients especially those who have no transportation, the elderly and the many patients who consider us their friends. People will have access to their medical records and signs have been posted at the clinic with contact info. We are still addressing the issue of medication refills and followup of labs and other tests. Again we were given virtually no notice to but a plan together.

Please feel free to share this info as it will be a huge impact on our community



Comment 1
Mon, March 16, 2009 11:04am
D. Blake
All my comments

I have insurance and used this clinic many times and found the staff helpful, courteous, and very competent. I was going to make an appointment for today! What a shame, now I will have to go downtown to my usual primary physician and I dread the commute, the traffic, and the parking fees. I especially liked that they had a lab too. I wonder if Coastside Seaton Hospital in Moss Beach can start an outpatient practice without having clients go through the ER.

So if, as in the article above, the administration was only told the night before that the must close, my question is by whom? The board of directors, I guess. Whoever made the decision to just close, without a real plan in place, and without prior notice, should be very ashamed… that is putting it politely. The way this was handled is reprehensible. I hope the legal system is looking into whether or not there was any wrong doing in this mechanism.

In a recent HMB Review Talk About blurb, Charise McHugh posted some propaganda about how hard the board had tried to soften the impact to the staff and community. Here is a quote from that piece:

“No one is more upset than those who worked hard to make it work. We could have made a plea to the community, but that would have only taken us a few more months and we told the staff as soon as possible, we were still trying find the key that could save it up until the 11th hour!”

If they were really concerned, then indeed, they should have operated a little longer, even a month, with community support. That way both patients and staff could have begun to seek alternatives, instead of being shut out. It almost seems like this was their way of saying,“Up yours,” to the community and the county for not providing more support.

I would love to know which members of the board approved this abrupt shut out. I suppose that information will come out eventually, in this small community.

If you would like to express your concerns directly, here is a link to the board members. Chances are you know some of them.


Comment 4
Tue, March 17, 2009 12:00pm
Bob Poole
All my comments

Oops. I didn’t post the link to the board members properly. Here it is: