Dr. Timothy Meilner has announced that North Fork Medical Clinic, 225 Minnesota Avenue, in Paonia, will close its doors effective Aug. 26.
Dr. Meilner, who joined the clinic in 1996, will join Dr. Kevin Pulsipher and Surface Creek Family Practice, effective Sept. 6. Surface Creek Family Practice has offices in Delta and Cedaredge.
According to a press release, "While it's no longer feasible to try to keep the clinic doors open, Dr. Meilner has greatly valued being able to provide care for those in the North Fork Valley."
Meilner and wife Shauna, who moved to the area in 1996 from Bethel, Alaska, said they wish to remain in the area. They cite changes in recent years in healthcare and in the economy that have forced the closure of small practices across the country, and that have taken a toll on their ability to operate. "Because the practice has been in existence for nearly seven decades, we felt a particular sense of responsibility to keep the practice open as long as we could, not wanting to leave any of our local residents without access to healthcare."
The move to the Surface Creek practice, said the Meilners, will allow them to provide patient care and provide for the needs of their family.
"Many North Fork residents have fond memories associated with the clinics in Paonia and Hotchkiss, and we hope to preserve some of this history," said the Meilners. "We have been thankful for the outpouring of support we've already received from those who have known about our plight, and we endeavor to make the transition as smooth as possible. It has truly been a pleasure to get to live and work here. We love the North Fork Valley and wish you good health in the years ahead."
Care providers are bound by confidentiality and rules and laws concerning transfer and maintenance of medical records. A copy of records can be transferred to another doctor or released to patients or to a designated individual, with permission from the patient. Dr. Meilner will maintain records until patients establish care at Surface Creek Family Practice or with an alternate provider.
Those wishing to establish care with Dr. Meilner at his new location can call 970-856-3146 to make an appointment. Appointments will be necessary before further care, including refills of medications, can be provided.