Many Lewis County residents are in search of new primary care doctors after Cascade Family Medical Clinic in Centralia announced it will cease operations at the end of August following more than 40 years of service.

“Cascade is one of a shrinking group of small, independent primary care clinics that is suffering from increasing administrative burdens, rising costs of healthcare delivery, and a reimbursement system that has not kept pace with these costs,” reads an open letter posted by doctors Eric DeMun and Christopher Yarter on the clinic’s website. “We have been unable to recruit physicians to partner with us in the face of these changes and have been unsuccessful in finding larger companies willing to buy the practice and keep it open.”

DeMun and Yarter declined through staff members to speak to The Chronicle about the impending closure. Yarter plans to move to Spokane and work for Multicare Rockwood Moran Prairie Family Medicine, according to the letter. DeMun will shift his practice to Washington Park Direct Care in Centralia, while Stephen Fischer moves to Tumwater Family Practice.

Patients of CFMC providers can find resources under the “CFMC Closure” tab on cfmclinic.com, including how to obtain and transfer copies of medical records to new doctors. The clinic plans to hold an open house from 5:30-8 p.m. on July 30 for patients and community members to say thank you and goodbye.

“Unfortunately, we must make this very clear: It is extremely important for you to find a new doctor to assume your care,” wrote Yarter and DeMun. “We encourage you to start this process as soon as possible in order to ensure a smooth transition to your new health care provider. If you need help locating a new physician, please contact your health insurance representative/plan.”

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