Long-time Prairie City physician Dr. Greg Ingle announced July 26 he is selling Prairie City Family Clinic to Pella Regional Health Center effective Aug. 28.
Ingle is joining Pella Regional after 39 years in operation. He informed patients of his decision in a letter mailed last week.
The Prairie City physician said he does not intend to retire at this time, and he and Dr. Heidi Wintermote will continue to practice with the same hours at the Prairie City location but operate under the Pella Regional banner. Ingle said current office staff will also remain in Prairie City.
“I am excited for this next phase in my life with a change in priorities and lifestyle,” Ingle wrote. “While I am not interested in retiring now or in the immediate future, I welcome a reduction in obligations and workload to enjoy time with family and friends.
“I appreciate the fact that I am leaving the business side of things in very capable hands. The clinic will continue on at its current location with the name Pella Regional’s Medical Clinic in Prairie City. Pella Regional and I have come to an agreement and the hospital will continue what I’ve built over these many years in Prairie City.”
Prairie City will join another of Pella Regional’s satellite Jasper County clinics in Monroe.
Ingle also owns and manages Colfax Medical Associates, a family practice clinic in Colfax. The Prairie City announcement paralleled the news that Colfax clinic registered nurse practitioner Lisa Sytsma will purchase that facility from Ingle.
One of Pella Regional’s interests in Ingle’s clinics are referrals and the revenue they generate. Sytsma said she wants her practice to remain independent and during the process of the sale, Pella Regional decided it was not interested in purchasing Colfax Medical Associates, which Ingle has owned since Skiff Medical Center disbanded its rural NewCare clinics four years ago.
“With (Lisa Sytsma’s) assumption of ownership, it is our belief that the clinic will achieve the ability to develop and grow in its service to the Colfax community,” Ingle wrote. “Having come from this area and worked in the clinic for some time, Lisa is familiar with what it takes to provide medical care in rural Iowa. ... Colfax should feel blessed to have Lisa Sytsma as part of their community.”
In an interview Friday, Sytsma also spoke highly of the Prairie City doctor who she’s worked with for nearly a year.
“I’m worried that people are thinking we’re not getting along,” she said in light of the restructuring. “That’s not the case. He’s been very supportive.”
Sytsma is a Prairie City native who currently lives in Bondurant. The registered nurse practitioner joined Ingle’s practice in fall 2016, after the Colfax clinic’s former RNP left the practice. She was informed Friday the clinic was approved for a small business loan by the board at First State Bank of Colfax, which was the final obstacle in the purchase.
“The people here pulled at my heart strings,” she said. “I couldn’t walk away.”
Once word began to spread about Ingle selling his Prairie City clinic to Pella Regional, Sytsma said there were concerns the Colfax clinic would once again shut its doors. Phone calls prompted Ingle to send the letter to his patients.
Sytsma began discussing the sale of Colfax Medical Associates with Ingle about two months ago. Since leading the family practice clinic, Sytsma said about 30 patients have returned, which she believes bodes well for the clinic’s chances of success. She contracted a private consulting firm to explore a purchase, paid for through an anonymous $500 donation from one of her patients.