Hospital to close Maple Valley clinic

Lake Wilderness Medical Clinic, which was opened by Snoqualmie Valley Hospital in Maple Valley more than a year ago, will close Jan. 31.

In early December, according to Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Chief Executive Officer Rodger McCollum, the hospital was involved in talks with Dr. Chet Jangala for him to take over the family practice side of the clinic, while Chris Nyte was planning to continue his work as a cosmetic surgeon and ear, nose and throat doctor.

Rumors of the clinic's shutdown had been swirling for weeks. In mid-November, a Maple Valley resident who is a patron of the clinic sent an e-mail to the Maple Valley Reporter after being told the clinic was going to be shut down and the doctors would have to find jobs elsewhere. She expressed dismay over the loss of the service.

When the Reporter first contacted McCollum Dec. 10, the deal to transfer operation of the clinic seemed to be done. But McCollum sent a letter to the Reporter Dec. 28 that will be sent to the clinic's patients. It explained that the clinic, which had been owned and operated by Public Hospital District 4 (also known as Snoqualmie Valley Hospital), will be shutting down.

"You should have recently received a letter informing you that the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital district will discontinue operating the Lake Wilderness Medical Clinic," the letter to patients states. "At the time of our [earlier] letter to you on (Dec. 1), Chet Jangala, MD, had stated his interest in continuing to operate the clinic. He has since decided not to do so. We have extended the closure date to (Jan. 31) to allow time for you to find another provider."

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