BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - More than 100 people took to the streets this afternoon in Buckingham County demanding the Sentara Buckingham Family Medicine clinic stay open.
People walked about a mile to the facility in Dilwyn and signed a petition to keep it open at the end of the march. They were also encouraged to contact Sentara representatives about the closure. Sentara Buckingham is one of only two medical facilities in the county. It serves thousands of people, many of which are over the age of 65 and cannot travel long distances to get care.
The facility was originally planned to close October 31, 2020. In a recent statement from Sentara Martha Jefferson Medical Group, the facility is now scheduled to close December 23 and Dr. Richard Muller, the lead physician at the clinic, will continue practicing on a part time basis at the Spring Creek location in 2021.
“Sentara is committed to continuing to serve Buckingham County patients and is looking into a variety of options to ensure continuity of care. We will be working with the staff at the Central Virginia Health Services clinic in New Canton to ensure the patients who choose not to transition Sentara Spring Creek Family Medicine continue to receive the quality care they are accustomed to," said Bruce Clemons, vice president and executive director of the Sentara Martha Jefferson Medical Group.
However, community members are asking the medical group to find a doctor to keep the Buckingham facility open for longer.
“Let’s push it on back to year 20-75. Because we need you. I mean that’s just the bottom line, this community needs this practice,” said Chamber of Commerce member Faye Shumaker.
More than 1300 people have signed the petition to keep the facility open so far.