Olympic Medical Center has hired a part-time physician to help handle the patient load at Sherwood Medical Center.
Dr. Peter Erickson of Port Angeles will receive $140 per hour for the three days a week he works at Sherwood, 540 W. Hendrickson Road, Sequim.
He will earn a maximum of $140,000 under the year-long contract, Dr. Scott Kennedy, OMC's chief medical officer, told hospital commissioners April 1.
Meanwhile, OMC continues to court doctors across the country to take over the primary care practice at Sherwood.
Hospital officials stepped in to lease the clinic and keep it open after its principal physician, Paul Hoque, died in late October after a two-year battle with cancer.
Many of the clinic's 4,000 patients are Port Angeles residents who followed Hoque to Sequim when he opened Sherwood Medical Group in 2000 in space leased from Sherwood Assisted Living.
Hoque held the clinic's Medicare authorization and the lease allows the hospital to supply Medicare services for as long as a year.
Federal law, however, forbids the hospital to operate the Sherwood Medical Clinic permanently.
At least one prospective hire, a San Francisco, Calif., physician, broke off when family problems arose for the doctor, said Dr. Scott Kennedy, OMC's chief medical officer.
The hospital has launched an advertising campaign to find a permanent proprietor at Sherwood, Kennedy said.
"We're getting the name out there a little more broadly. If someone is out there, we hope to find him.
"There have been no serious bites at this moment, but we hope to do better soon."
OMC's aid to the Sherwood clinic is the second time the hospital has entered the primary care field.
It took over the former Virginia Mason Eighth Street clinic in Port Angeles after the Seattle-based health care provider abandoned its satellite clinic and its thousands of patients in 2006.
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