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Employees, patients surprised by closing of medical facility

Posted: 4:14 PM, Feb 14, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-15 01:29:21-05
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LAKETON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Hundreds of people are without a job and many more are without medical and dental care after a Muskegon County facility closed with little notice.

The announcement Muskegon Family Care would be closing was delivered to employees Friday morning. The federally funded facility treats people who are on Medicaid, Medicare or are without insurance. Thousands of patients will be impacted by the closing and about 200 jobs were lost.

Patients who spoke to FOX 17 Friday said they were having a hard time getting their records and had their appointments cancelled.

Mark Vanderkooi called to ask if he could come get his records on Friday but was told that wouldn’t be possible.

“I said, 'well, if you guys are closing down permanently, am I going to get my records?' Because if I don't get them records I'd have to pay another $2,000 for X-rays out of pocket because my insurance already paid for them to do it,” Vanderkooi said.

An employee who asked to remain anonymous said the company's interim CEO sent out a letter Thursday night about the facility's struggles.

She said her concerns are for the patients and she would like to see something done.

"It just kills me. I can't go to sleep tonight not knowing that I didn't reach out to see if I can talk to anyone, if anybody can I'll write letters, I'll make phone calls," the employee said. "I know I'm a nobody but I have to do something."

State Rep. Terry Sabo, D-Ravenna, says stakeholders have been in discussions about the facility and what alternatives are available for patients.

"It's very unfortunate and I feel for those patients, not only today but going forward as well,” Sabo said. “It's something that I think a lot of the community is going to have to kick in. You know, when I talk about the community being those stakeholders are going to have to kick in to really help provide the care for these residents."

Sabo said law enforcement is investigating the facility but couldn’t say why.

The company didn’t respond to a request for comment from FOX 17.