TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Very soon, patients of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department may be without a doctor or a way to get medications.
It's part of a big change happening at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department where they will cut six of their primary care clinics after June 30.
Patients were notified of this change about a month ago through a letter that outlines where you can call with questions, and also what options are available. The letter can viewed here.
While these clinics will not be offered downtown any longer, some will be reinstated in the future in east Toledo.
"Our primary concern is our patients and ensuring their continuity of care," said Jennifer McCloskey, interim CEO for the health center.
In less than two weeks, several clinics will shut down including family practice, pediatric services, prenatal care, women's health, adult medicine and dental.
This decision came after analyzing the clinic's viability and financial stability.
Department officials said this will eliminate 33 positions. They explained that some of those people have retired, found other jobs or are taking a layoff.
Some clinics are expected to reopen in mid-July, pending government site approval at 2020 Starr Ave. in east Toledo.
Officials said not all clinics will be in the new space immediately, but they do plan to eventually bring dental and prenatal care clinics to the east Toledo location. They said initially the site will open with family practice, pediatric services, women's health and adult medicine.
"Health Partners of Northwestern Ohio is a federally qualified health center and they are committed to providing high quality care for all patients," McCloskey said.
Some health providers, such as family nurse practitioner Velda Coleman, will be moving to the new location. She believes this move is better for patients because it offers more comprehensive care, treating a patient's body, mind and soul.
"What we're hoping is that once they get there they get everything they need in that visit," Coleman said. "They don't have to reschedule and come back multiple times unless absolutely necessary. They will see different providers in that visit to make sure that everything they need is taken care of."
The Health Department will still maintain their Sexually Transmitted Disease clinic, Tuberculosis (TB) Testing, Adult and Travel Immunizations, Mobile Vision Program and Vision Clinic, PrEP Program and Shots 4 Tots 'n Teens Program.
Health department leaders said they are working with their patients to make the transition to a new clinic as easy as possible.
"There is always going to be things that come up, but we just have to wait and see," Coleman said. "We are going to do the best we can to make sure it's as smooth as possible."