CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County will contract with a new local physician and his practice to provide healthcare services at the county jail.
On Tuesday Commissioner Tony Scotto reported that Dr. Lawrence Levinson, the jail’s current physician, has submitted a letter of resignation for retirement purposes.
Scotto said the county found a new physician, Dr. Phuong Wirths, DO, from Fore Your Health Family Medicine in Curwensville, to replace Levinson.
Clearfield County will pay $124,000 annually for the new physician’s services. The employment agreement is effective immediately and will be renewable on an annual basis.
Commissioner Mark B. McCracken noted the change in physician came at a price and will cost the county an additional $84,000 annually.
He said there was the “added value” of a 24/7, on-call nurse practitioner, but the financial situation will once again have to be a topic of debate with the warden and Prison Board.
Currently, McCracken said the jail is already “way over-budget” in areas, such as overtime, out-of-county housing and medications/pharmacy.
Despite the higher costs for the new physician, both McCracken and Commissioner John A. Sobel agreed that it was still significantly less costly than the alternative.
Sobel and McCracken said if the county contracted with a corporate healthcare provider like other prisons, it would likely cost between $300,000 and $500,000 annually.