Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Family Health Center back on schedule

The Wahkiakum Clinic in Cathlamet, which was closed temporarily because of personnel issues, is open and back to a Tuesday through Friday schedule.

According to Jim Coffee, Chief Executive Officer of the Cowlitz Family Health Center, which oversees the clinic in Cathlamet, a locum tenens contract ended at the same time the regular provider was dealing with some significant family issues.

Locum tenens, or “rent-a-doc” as Coffee likes to call them, frequently fill in the second position at the clinic, and usually work Monday through Thursday.

"Covid has hit every sector of our industry, and finding locum tenens has become even more difficult,” Coffee said. “The HR department has been trying to fill that slot, but we haven’t been able to secure anybody yet.”

The goal is always to find someone who will stay.

“We’re trying to find a square peg that we can shave down to the round hole up there,” Coffee said. “For some reason, people are afraid of living in small towns. Trying to find people who really want that kind of small town vibe is tough. We keep trying to find the right ones.”

The clinic will be closed for a few days in December, which have yet to be determined. Information will be posted on Facebook.

If the clinic is closed, patients can always make an appointment at the clinic in Longview or set up an appointment for a telephone visit, Coffee said.


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