The City of Lewisburg is without a doctor, and they're asking for your help to turn the situation around.
Doctor Roy McEndre's office was abruptly closed a month ago, and the people of Lewisburg aren't happy about it at all.
Since Lewisburg was founded back in 1878, the people always had a doctor they could count on. But it's not just Lewisburg that depends on that doctor. People from neighboring counties like Butler, Muhlenberg and Todd, have been coming to Lewisburg to see the doctor too. Now, that's all changed.
Doctor Roy McEndre knows just about everybody in Lewisburg by their first names, and at one point or another, he's doctored just about everybody, too. He's delivered hundreds of babies at his office on Stacker Street. He says it's practically the only life he's ever known, but that life changed drastically on March 27, 2004.
In the beginning of March, Dr. McEndre turned in his retirement notice to Lifepoint, a company that operates Logan Memorial Hospital. He says he withdrew that notice a few days later, when he found out he might be able to train a new doctor to eventually take his place in Lewisburg. But at a meeting called by the hospital, McEndre found out the hospital wouldn't let him take back the resignation. Dr. Mac says at that meeting, he was told he had "seen his last patient" and "your office is closed effective immediately." Dr. Mac says the decision wasn't based on people but rather, money.
Now the mayor is left trying to find a new doctor, and worrying how this loss could hurt the economy. He says this will be the first time in Lewisburg history that the town has been without a physician.
The mayor and residents are hoping to get a new doctor into town, but don't know if that's possible. Dr. Mac says if there's a doctor out there who might like to take on a rural practice, he's willing to rent out his office building.
And as for the hospital, they were going to talk with us, but backed out at the last minute. They gave us the following written statement instead:
"On March 10, 2004, Dr McEndre voluntarily resigned his employed position with Logan Memorial Hospital due to retirement. Logan Memorial Hospital accepted his resignation and began making plans to arrange for the care of his patients. On March 23, Dr. McEndre chose to defer his written resignation, but Logan Memorial has already accepted it. However, he retains his medical license and is still eligible to treat patients as an independent physician if he chooses. We wish to congratulate Dr. McEndre on his many years of service to the residents of Logan and surrounding counties. Please join us in wishing him the best during his well-deserved retirement."
But Dr. McEndre says he can't afford the malpractice insurance it would take to operate independently.
When we asked a hospital representative about the complaints of our viewers, we were told the viewers are welcome to call the hospital, but they'll only get the information on this press release as well.