The Freeport Health Network delays a plan to close a health clinic in Orangeville. The clinic in the rural community north of Freeport was set to close in mid November, but patients are continuing to battle for a local healthcare provider.
The Orangeville health clinic was scheduled to close its doors on November 14. Freeport Health Network operates ten clinics throughout Stephenson County, but business has been slow in Orangeville.
"We have to balance the needs of the community versus the value of resources we have and where we have to deploy those resources," says Dr. Michael Perry.
When news of the planned closure spread through the town of 800, neighbors banned together to try and save it.
"We all feel the need to keep the clinic here and we feel that if they give us a chance to keep it open longer we feel that we can increase their numbers," says Harry Bowen.
Bowen says driving to Freeport for care can be a challenge when emergencies arise or bad weather, especially for elderly residents. But the closure could also mean a loss of jobs.
"Of course any business no matter how big or small always hurts if it leaves a community."
FHN has decided to keep the clinic open temporarily to reevaluate demand.
"We're going to take a three or four month period to look at the finances and community support," says Dr. Perry.
It’s a small victory for residents, but they willing to fight to finish to keep Orangeville's clinic open. The clinic has been open since the mid 80s. FHN and community leaders will meet again in a few weeks to discuss the clinic's status.