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Clinic complains about St. Vincent

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Clinic complains about St. Vincent

A doctor who leased space from St. Vincent Health in Sherwood sent a letter to his patients informing them that St. Vincent, in a move he called "immoral and unethical," would not renew its lease and that the clinic was moving to North Little Rock.

Dr. Jock Cobb of the North Hills Family Medical Center, which is not affiliated with St. Vincent, wrote patients that St. Vincent gave the clinic only about six weeks to move. The lease expired Oct. 31. The clinic is now located at 4509 E. McCain Blvd.

Cobb was director of St. Vincent North hospital for 12 years; he lost that position at the same time his clinic lease was terminated. In his letter, Cobb said he was saddened "at how we were treated after 12 years of association with St. Vincent as their Medical Director and a major supporter who helped take the concept of a hospital presence in Sherwood to a reality."

The Times asked St. Vincent spokesperson Margaret Dedman if the lease termination was part of St. Vincent's $12 million budget cuts revealed last week by CEO Peter Banko and what the hospital's plan for the Sherwood building the clinic occupied was. The Times didn't get answers to those questions, but was provided a statement in which the hospital said it was "disappointed by the letter sent by Dr. Cobb to his patients regarding his recent change in location." The hospital said its notice to Dr. Cobb about the decision not to renew the lease "was consistent with the terms in the original lease agreement that he signed" and that it offered to sell the building, originally owned by Cobb, back to the doctor, but that he declined.

St. Vincent laid off 29 employees a couple of weeks ago, and 21 left the hospital in November. Banko said other cuts will come in vendor and doctor contracts as well as changes in clinical care.

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