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Embattled Hillsboro clinic to close

Staff writer

Hillsboro was notified Friday that Herington Memorial Hospital will close its embattled downtown Hillsboro clinic Feb. 28.

The hospital’s legal authority to purchase, build, renovate, or expand into Hillsboro was challenged Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Herington taxpayer Robert Danzmann.

However, Hillsboro city administrator Matt Stiles said he was notified by the hospital’s chief financial officer, Bryan Coffey, that the reason the clinic would close was a retroactive change in federal coronavirus aid, which apparently was being used to help finance the project.

“It seems pretty sudden,” Stiles said.

The federal change, made Dec. 28, reportedly caps aid to new rural health clinics at $100 per visit — a level that hospital chief executive Isabel Schmedemann has indicated in published reports would be insufficient to allow the hospital to operate the clinic.

The clinic, which opened little more than a year ago, has been remodeling its building in downtown Hillsboro.

Its building permit requires that if the building is not completed it be sealed up against the elements so it cannot become a blight on the neighborhood, Stiles said.

Coffey, Schmedemann, and Herington city manager Brandon Dross could not immediately be reached for comment.

Additional information will be published in the Record’s next edition Wednesday.

Last modified Jan. 9, 2021

 

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