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Spectrum Health Care Clinic closes its doors in Columbia


Spectrum Health Care Clinic closed its doors Wednesday without notice.

The clinic was located at 1123 Wilkes Boulevard in Columbia. Signs posted on the front door state that the clinic is closed until further notice, citing financial hardships.

Spectrum offered medical assistance for HIV/AIDS patients, as well as STI testing and birth control. According to its website, the clinic would work with patients to address issues that may prevent people from receiving medical treatment, including transportation needs and payment assistance.

According to Spectrum Health Cares' About Us page, the clinic is a "one-stop resource and service provider for all of your health care needs." The volunteer-run organization employed 15 staff members and key contractors, with 10 interns and volunteers working at any given time.

Spectrum Board Chairmen Echo Menges said the decision was made Tuesday night.

"It's disturbing," said Trey Busch, who was a former employee and patient at Spectrum. "That's the part that's the most stressful. I am a patient there, and I have HIV so I rely on them for my care and my chronic care. That I need to keep me alive daily."

Busch started as a part-time receptionist and eventually became a room clinic manager. Busch was notified by Spectrum that he was being let go on Wednesday in an email he read while he was at the clinic.

In the email Busch shared with ABC 17 news, Spectrum said Busch would be laid off, as of Feb. 15.

"The clinic’s lack of funds necessitates this layoff," the email says. "This layoff action is indefinite and should be considered permanent."

"As an employee I had suspicions, but every time I would ask somebody on the board, well, I need to hear from anybody most of the time," said Busch.

Busch said Spectrum's patients will now go without care as they scramble to try to get into other clinics in Columbia.

"It's going to be difficult for them to get into MU but you're now looking at a whole caseload of over 100 people," Busch said.

Menges said patients will be notified.

"I anticipate that communication will also be available via our social media accounts and on our website, hopefully by Monday," Menges said. "I don't see a path where reopening is an option at this point. The board needs time to reevaluate its position, refocus on our mission, and lay out a path to best serve the community."

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


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