FRANKFORT, Ind. — Ascension St. Vincent announced the closing of 11 immediate care facilities across the state. It puts more pressure on closures in rural areas, especially for hospitals in Clinton County.

“My public health nurse is pretty well tied into our community and nursing community. She was aware a day or so ago,” tells Rodney Wann, Administrator with the Clinton County Health Department, “I would certainly say it has been short notice.”

The Health System’s Frankfort location is one of the branches set to close services. IU Health recently built a hospital in Frankfort, however Wann says it may not be ready to handle the extra work load. He fears residents may be left to drive 25 minutes to Lebanon or Lafayette for treatment. With the price of gas, that is costly.

“You might not be able to drive depending on your injury, but you don’t want to call an ambulance. Now you are talking even more increasing costs,” tells Wann, “When you start talking about someone having to go to the emergency room for a visit in order to take care of what could have been seen at an urgent care, costs will go up.”

The sudden changes have left the County Health Department scrambling for answers.

“Perhaps looking at bringing in temporary mobile services to help with initial shock of it all,” guesses Wann, “‘I know I spoke with our health officer, he and I are fact finding as we speak.”

To be clear, Ascension St. Vincent is only closing the walk-in care aspect of these facilities. If the location also houses primary care physicians, those doctors will remain in practice.