To the editor:

Stevens Community Medical Center considers it a privilege to serve all of you and I want to be transparent and keep our patients and community informed. All of us at SCMC understand and hear your concerns related to wait times and access to services.

SCMC has gone through some changes in our provider group. The group has been impacted by the recent retirement of two longstanding physicians and one physician who has made the decision to leave SCMC. We have added Stephanie Knobloch, CNP and she has been a wonderful addition. We also look forward to welcoming Dr. Jason Huikko to our facility in August.

Provider recruitment is a top priority for SCMC. We are working with 15 different recruitment agencies to find practitioners. We are looking for those that will provide service on a temporary contract basis (locum) or those who would like to become an SCMC employee.

As you may know, SCMC has contracted with companies for physician coverage of our Urgent Care and Emergency Room. We now have three primary physicians who rotate through the coverage calendar. They stay in an apartment at SCMC and cover both the Urgent Care and ER. Due to several circumstances, the volume of our Urgent Care and ER visits has significantly increased and therefore affected access and wait times.

We take your feedback very seriously, therefore, our providers have saved two same-day appointment spots in an effort to increase timely access to care. These spots fill quickly and our provider numbers don't meet the demand. Our recruitment efforts include finding a provider to establish a walk- in clinic to meet our patients same day needs. We are also looking for family practice and internal medicine physicians.

I want you to know Stevens Community Medical Center is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of this region. I am happy to answer any questions and can be reached at 589-7690

Jason Breuer,

President/CEO Stevens Community Medical Center, Morris