However, patients have been told the clinic, which is operated by Evergreen Packaging, will be closed for only a month before reopening under new ownership. Both Mission Health and Haywood Regional Medical Center expressed interest in keeping the clinic open when Evergreen announced its closure in January.
Evergreen mill employees also hoped one of the hospitals would step in to purchase the clinic so they could keep their physician — Dr. Tony Jones. But the major health care players in the area are remaining tightlipped for now.
With the impending closure less than a month away, neither company has made any official announcement, though HRMC’s new CEO Phillip Wright mentioned the hospital’s interest in the clinic recently when he spoke at a Haywood County Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
“We have nothing definitive to report as we are still in discussions,” said Christina Deidesheimer, a spokesperson for HRMC.
Evergreen informed employees at the beginning of January that the clinic and pharmacy would be closed at the end on March because of declining use. Many employees have spent the last couple of months organizing protests to keep the clinic open.