It has come to my attention that Open Door Community Health Center is going to be cutting back the numbers of days of operation at the Smith River Clinic from three days to one day per week. This is disappointing to many of us in the Smith River Community.

As principal of the Smith River Elementary School, I can assure you that many of the students and their families depend on andquot;our little clinic.andquot; Whether it involves children's physical exams or immunizations (both of which are necessary for school enrollment), care for their illnesses or the occasional playground accident, the clinic has been there for us.

Most of the farm and agriculture workers and their families have grown to depend on the excellent care they have received at the clinic. Many of the familes do not have transportation, but they walk up to 2 miles or more to the Smith River Clinic. Without the Smith River Clinic, many would be unable to continue their treatments.

Smith River is also the home of many elderly, retired folks. Many of these people no longer drive due to age or health, so they are even more dependent on andquot;our little clinicandquot; because they can walk to it.

The staff is as professional and courteous as could be expected in the finest of medical facilities. We have come to know, appreciate and respect all of the personnel that make up andquot;Tirsa's Team.andquot; Losing any of the three days of access, which we currently have, would bring negative effects on our small community.

I would ask you to please give careful thought and consideration to the needs of the Smith River Community that have been met so well for the last seven years. This little clinic has impacted Smith River in so many positive ways. Please reconsider any plans you may have of altering this community asset.

Paige Swan


Smith River Elementary