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WRH, Fitz-Gerald Clinic announce operations agreement

Whitfield Regional Hospital will be assuming operations of the Fitz-Gerald Clinic beginning Monday, Dec. 23.

According to hospital officials, the longtime clinic in Demopolis will be renamed the Whit Family Clinic Fitz-gerald and operate similar to the clinic opened in Linden earlier this year. All employees of the clinic, including Dr. Fitz-Gerald, will remain on staff.

“We have stated that one of our goals is to open more rural health clinics and this fits into that model very well,” said WRH CEO Doug Brewer.

The hospital is not buying the clinic but rather assuming operations, according to Brewer who said he met and welcomed Fitz-Gerald staff to the “Whit Family” Friday morning.

“We will begin integrating their operations into ours over the next few weeks as we work to put in place the necessary operational requirements for the development of a new rural health clinic. We fully expect that both Dr. Fitz-Gerald and the amazing team he has developed there to join us and continue the important work and care they provide within the region,” he said.

Brewer adds that voters’ approval of an ad valorem tax on Dec. 10 to benefit the hospital made assuming operations of the clinic possible. “We certainly don’t want to lose a clinic, especially one that is as busy as Dr. Fitz-Gerald’s. But, we couldn’t have done this without the support of the community,” he said.

The hospital will be moving forward in the coming weeks to integrate operations with Fitz-Gerald Clinic. In the meantime, it will be “business as usual” at the clinic, Brewer said.

“Since 1970, Dr. Fitz-Gerald and his team have been taking care of the health needs of people throughout the region. Many in the community know the reputation of both Dr. Fitz-Gerald and his team are impeccable. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t meet a patient upstairs or someone in the community that talks about how Dr. Fitz-Gerald delivered them or how he saved their lives or a loved one’s life.”