CLOVIS, New Mexico – After 35 years of serving Eastern New Mexico, the Women’s Medical Center in Clovis is closing.
The news comes as a result of the medical group not being able to recruit physicians to the area. Dr. Breton Juberg, an OBGYN and owner/partner of WMC, said Eastern New Mexico is a difficult area to recruit.
“A lot of the younger, newer physicians coming out of their training want to go to the big cities with a lot of amenities and things to do. Some of the local legislative changes at the state level have made it more unfavorable to providers here with the increased caps and the rewards,” Juberg explained.
With the volume of patients, Dr. Juberg said it was a job for five doctors, but right now, they are down to only two… leaving them no other choice.
Juberg added, “We really explored every option before we decided on this course of action. And we really regret it. The closure of this practice, which has really been an institution in this community for 35 years is going to be missed, and we’re just so sorry that it’s come to this.”
Kynzi Shelley of Portales is due June 26th, about two weeks after WMC is scheduled to close on June 10th.
“I was really sad, the staff there is really good. And I feel like, in small rural towns, it’s really hard for us to have really good health care, especially with prenatal care.” Shelley said.
She added, “Being with the same doctor this whole time and getting to know her and having a plan for how I want to have my baby and what needs to happen is stressful switching that literally right at the end.”
Cydnee Widner of Melrose had her first baby at Plains Regional Medical Center, the hospital in Clovis, with Dr. William Moore. He recently retired, but she’s still down about not being able to deliver in the same place she had her first. Thankfully though, she has an alternative plan.
“A lot of people recommended delivering at Covenant, and I found Dr. Patterson, at the Grace Clinic, and that they kind of have a conglomerate of doctors also,” Widner said.
Those in the area are hopeful for the future of women’s health care in Eastern New Mexico, but no one will likely see significant changes for a while. Dr. Juberg said it’s going to take years to recover from this.
Dr. Juberg said there are 45 staff members currently, and they are hopeful each one will be transferred successfully to other jobs. For patients that are at higher risk, they’ve coordinated UMC in Lubbock, Covenant, and practices in Amarillo and Roswell.