HAWC Merges With St. Mary's Clinics

Prime Health Care says it's official: The Health Care Company based in Southern California says its has finalized the purchase of St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno. For those who use St. Mary's low cost clinics, as well as WIC services provided by St. Mary's you may be wondering what happens to you.

Michael Martinez, 13, is at the St. Mary's Health Center in Sun Valley. He says he's been a patient for about 8 years and has received a lot of help. He remembers the first time he came to the center.

“So we waited about five minutes and this nurse took us in and we went into a room and like she check me, checked my pulse, she checked to see is I had a fever just in case,” says Martinez.

Martinez says he doesn't know what he would do if the clinic closed.
And that had to have been a concern for patients both young and old when Prime Health, a for profit health care agency announced it would buy St. Mary's.

“St. Mary's was previously owned by Dignity Health a not for profit health care, and it was their commitment because of not paying taxes to provide services to the community to the under served. With a for profit owner of the hospital they no longer have to do that,” says Mike Johnson a St. Mary's spokesperson.

For a time there was concern for low income patients who needed not only this center in Sun Valley but this clinic on Neil Road for medical care.

That's when the HAWC Clinic stepped in to merge with St. Mary's and run the clinics as well as the medical-dental mobile units.

“Our missions are the same. We serve the under served. We serve those who have little or no insurance. Those who otherwise would not get the comprehensive health care we are both dedicated to,” says Dr. Dan Ahearn, HAWC Clinic CEO.

While there's a lot going on behind the scenes, Dr. Ahearn says for average patients like Michael there should be no change of service and care.

The merger is with a well established and very busy network.

HAWC's Dr. Ahearn says it could more than double their patient load.

Dr. Ahearn says HAWC was able to keep most of the staff at the centers.

However, with the merger, he is on the lookout for more primary care physicians, nurses, physician's assistants, and medical assistants.

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