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Buckingham Family Medicine to close

Buckingham residents were disappointed last week to learn of plans to close Sentara Buckingham Family Medicine in Dillwyn.

The business is one of the only health care providers in the county.

Sentara Medical Group confirmed the location’s impending closure in an email statement Friday, Sept. 4, stating the office would be officially closing Friday, Oct. 30.

Sentara cited the primary reason behind the closure as an inability to recruit a new primary physician.

“The team at this practice provided excellent medical care to the community for many years, and this closing is in no way a reflection on that care,” officials wrote. “Dr. Richard Muller, the only physician at that practice, has made the decision to transition to a part-time position and will be at Sentara Spring Creek Family Medicine. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to recruit a physician to take his place at Sentara Buckingham Family Medicine and made the very difficult decision to close this practice location.”

Sentara officials added Buckingham Family Medicine employee Jennifer Stancil, NP, will be joining Muller in transitioning to the Spring Creek location.

Additionally, patients with appointments on or after Nov. 2 will be directed to go to Spring Creek for their appointment.

Many Buckingham residents were disheartened by the news of the practice’s shutdown, including District Four Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III.

Thomas Jordan Miles III

“Not only is it disheartening to lose a health care provider during a worldwide pandemic, and when our community is suffering from a shortage of healthcare providers, but it’s also upsetting that eight jobs will be lost or relocated to another county,” Miles said Friday.

“Hundreds of people in Buckingham rely on the services of this doctor’s office for their overall health, and their families for many generations,” he continued. “This is evidenced by the nearly 600 signatures petitioning to keep the practice open since just late Thursday night.”

Miles noted officials have meetings scheduled this upcoming week with health care providers, including Sentara, to work through concerns and identify avenues which can be taken to keep quality healthcare in the county.

In addition to the petition, The Buckingham Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a “March for Medical Care” to help encourage the continued operation of Buckingham Family Medicine. The march is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20, from 3 to 4 p.m. It will begin at the Pocket Park on Main Street in Dillwyn and conclude at Buckingham Family Medicine.