Brent Ursel PA-C
The only constant is change. A Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, has been credited for this quote. It was as true then (535 B.C-475 B.C.) as it is now. Change is rarely easy.
The “Old Timers” have fond memories of Seward General Hospital, the babies that were born there, and the doctors that cared for the residents: Dr. Gerry Bell, Dr. Tim Pollard, Dr. Noise, just to name a few.
When the City decided a new plan was needed for Seward General in the late 90’s, a new hospital and care center was built. Providence Health Systems was contracted to run it. The change was difficult, but life continued on.
Once again, health care services at the base of Mt. Marathon are undergoing a change. Soon will be gone Providence Seward Family Practice Clinic. In its place will be the new Seward Community Health Center. The 24 hour emergency room as well as the hospital will continue without interruption.
Many have expressed concerns about the transition:
Will I still be able to get my health records once the facility has changed over? Yes. Providence Health Center has all of the records and will continue to have them available to anyone who would like a copy of them.
Where can I go to get care during the two weeks in February when the Providence Clinic/Community Health Center is closed for the transition? You can still receive care at Glacier Family Medicine Clinic or the Providence Seward ER. IHS eligible persons can also obtain services at NorthStar Clinic.
Is there any advantage in waiting to obtain a copy of my medical records from Providence Seward if I want them? Yes. Providence Seward will hopefully have a program in place to digitize your medical records and make them available on a CD for you. Also, should anyone chose to seek care at Glacier Family, they will hopefully have electronic access (but only for the records that patients have signed a medical records release) to medical records by the time of the transition in mid February.
What can I do to make it easier for myself during this two week period that the Providence Clinic/Community Clinic will be closed? Check your medications. Do you have refills remaining on your prescriptions? Will you be running out during this time? If so, make sure you contact your medical provider to discuss refills beforehand. Also, if you know that you will be needing a coast guard physical, CDL physical, or any other routine health care, you should plan on scheduling it before mid February or after the beginning of March.
Change is never easy. But with a little planning ahead of time, you can minimize the effects of this particular change on you.