Vicksburg Clinic closing; doctors moving to Street Clinic|[07/29/08]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2008

River Region-operated Vicksburg Clinic, a wing of the former Vicksburg Medical Center on North Frontage Road, will close and merge into the Street Clinic building on Grove Street by fall in what River Region spokesman Diane Gawronski called a positive move for patients.

She called the Vicksburg Clinic “outdated,” and said the transition will be completed with as little disruption as possible for both the patients and their physicians.

The seven or eight physicians practicing will join eight or nine practicing physicians at the Street Clinic, she said.

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In addition to the incoming doctors, the Street Clinic will also be remodeled.

“The next few months will see a big change for the positive for the Street Clinic,” said Gawronski, citing aesthetic additions such as new carpeting, paint and wallpaper.

The Vicksburg Clinic was built in 1971 and is 20 years older than the Street Clinic, which was built in 1991.

River Region Health System, the primary provider of medical services in the Vicksburg area, is a property of Community Health Systems of Brentwood, Tenn. When River Region Medical Center opened on U.S. 61 North in February 2002, some physicians employed by River Region were assigned clinical offices there. Others remained at Vicksburg Clinic, adjacent to the hospital facility now operated by Promise Specialty and offering long-term acute care, and Street Clinic, adjacent to ParkView Regional Medical Center, which was closed, sold and remains vacant.

“When the Street Clinic opened, it was designed for more doctors,” Gawronski said. “There’s much more space available.”

The changes are part of a string of developments for River Region. Seven-year CEO Phillip Clendenin resigned effective July 23, leaving Brad Holland as interim CEO while River Region’s parent company searches nationally for Clendenin’s replacement.

In addition, the Marian Hill Chemical Dependency Unit, which has operated in a building near ParkView, will relocate to 22,338 square feet on the fourth floor of the former Vicksburg Medical Center. Gawronski said she hopes the move will be complete by the end of this year.

No other plans for the building housing the Vicksburg Clinic have been determined.

One of the longest-serving physicians there, internist Paul “Bill” Pierce III left Vicksburg Clinic to open Medical Associates of Vicksburg in early July. He is seeing patients in an 8,000-square-foot space remodeled and leased in the former Sack & Save supermarket as an affiliate of Central Mississippi Medical Services in Jackson. The developer of the 60,000-square-foot former grocery said he plans a medical mall there, though no additional River Region physicians have yet announced they will be moving.

River Region’s hospital on U.S. 61 North is 391,196 square feet and serves residents in Vicksburg and Warren County, as well as those in Issaquena, Sharkey, Claiborne, Yazoo and western Hinds counties, and residents in Louisiana as far west as Delhi.

In addition to Vicksburg Clinic, Street Clinic and Marian Hill, River Region offers services through the Family Medicine Clinic, Southern Orthopedics, River Region Behavioral Health, the Pain Management Clinic and Port Gibson Medical Clinic.