The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Seniors-only medical practice closing doors
BY JIM HALL
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
SeniorCare Geriatric Medical Center, the area’s only medical practice focused exclusively on the elderly, is closing.
The business did not attract enough interest from the elderly and those who care for them, said Dana Tate, president and CEO of Dantra Healthcare, majority owner. It will close Nov. 14.
Officials made the decision to close earlier this month and sent letters out to patients, Tate said.
The closing brings a surprising end to a practice that began with much fanfare in May 2011.
Dantra Healthcare, as 75 percent partner, joined with Mary Washington Healthcare, parent company of Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals, to form the business.
Officials said they hoped to serve the growing 65-plus population and fill a gap in the area’s senior services.
The business was unique in that it catered to the elderly and combined an office component with an in-home component.
The staff of five included Dr. Samuel Umesegha, a board-certified geriatrician, and a nurse practitioner also trained in the care of the elderly.
Providers treated patients in the office beside Interstate 95 at Cosner’s Corner in Spotsylvania County. They also visited patients in their homes or in group-home settings.
The home-visit part of the business was popular, Tate said, but the office portion was not.
“I thought there would be massive need to see patients in the clinic setting,” he said. “There was not. It was just not utilized.”
A spokesman for Mary Washington Healthcare said the company will employ a nurse practitioner and continue to see the home–bound patients.
“There’s going to be no interruption in care,” Kathleen Allenbaugh said.
Seniors make up about 10 percent of the area’s population, or about 32,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That number will increase as the baby boom generation ages.
A citizen advisory group affiliated with Mary Washington Healthcare last year listed senior issues as one of the region’s top 10 health concerns.
Jim Hall: 540/374-5433