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Clinics' association will disband Oct. 1

A lawsuit over the clinics' management has been settled after the parties asked a St. Croix County judge to dismiss the case and announced that Hudson Physicians, River Falls Medical Clinic and New Richmond Clinic will end their affiliation.

A press release approved by the three divisions of Western Wisconsin Medical Associates said Monday that the clinics will discontinue operating WWMA, a 16-year-old partnership, effective Oct. 1.

"Hudson Physicians, New Richmond Clinic and River Falls Medical Clinic will continue to provide services to patients at each of their locations without interruption," said the statement provided by Hudson Physicians Administrator Ernie Wallin. "Patients may continue to contact their providers and clinics at the same phone number and location as they have in the past."

Hudson Physicians includes Hudson Physicians Quick Care and Sports Spine & Occupational Medicine, and River Falls Medical Clinic includes clinics in Ellsworth and Spring Valley as well as River Falls.

Last November three Hudson doctors -- Dennis Hartung, Mark Stannard and Greg Young -- asked the court to dissolve the umbrella organization of physicians who staff the clinics. The three doctors claimed the clinics were deadlocked over management issues.

The areas of conflict alleged in the complaint included a stalemate over a two-year-old plan to build a new outpatient urgent care clinic, surgery center and rehabilitation center and a general difference in philosophy regarding the services the clinics should provide.

At that time the River Falls clinic was opposed to dissolving the longstanding WWMA partnership, said Samantha Bluhm, the clinic's marketing director.

In any case, she said, dissolving WWMA would be a business decision that wouldn't directly impact patients.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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