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Langlade County News

White Lake Area Clinic Plans Advance

May 26, 2011

Plans for a medical clinic in the White Lake are advancing, with a meeting slated later this summer to determine the scope of the work.

Northern Health Centers, Inc. of Lakewood and Langlade Hospital in Antigo with the assistance from the Langlade County Community Development Corporation and members of the White Lake area have been working on preliminary plans for a medical facility for months and plan to unveil options within a few weeks.

Currently, there are approximately 4,000 residents that live in the potential service area who travel on average 15 to 30 miles for health care. Based on the response to a survey that was sent to approximately 1,300 homes, 86 percent will likely use a clinic if placed in the White Lake area.

Because of that positive response rate, progress to date includes creating a budget and presenting that budget to each of the boards of Langlade Hospital and Northern Health Centers, Inc. for adoption and site selection.

Once the respective budgets are passed, another informational meeting will be scheduled for mid-August detailing the scope of work. This will include steps to secure a site along with working out the details as far as staffing, equipping and hours of operation.

Northern Health Centers and Langlade Hospital began discussions about 24 months ago concerning ways to improve access to health care services in eastern Langlade County. The benefits of the hospital and health center working together is sharing best practices in quality care and focusing on reducing costs.

Langlade Hospital would support the effort through assistance with development of the facility, providing recruitment and providing mobile medical services in the future.

"Approximately 75 percent of the residents in the communities In the eastern portion of the county do currently utilize the hospital's services," Dave Schneider, the hospital's executive director, said. "This is a way for the hospital to expand services while making it more convenient for residents to seek medical attention.'

Judy Peterson, project committee volunteer said that plan not only fills a medical need but also adds to the communities' attractiveness for new residents and possibly new businesses.

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