Staff scrambling after clinic goes from fine to closing in a matter of days

Monarch Health Addiction Recovery Clinics staff were told the clinic was closing in two weeks, two days after a meeting about the clinic's positive outlook.
Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Monarch Health Addiction Recovery Clinics staff sat down for a meeting on May 10th, in which staff say they were told owners “were pretty positive about the outlook of the clinic.” Two days later, staff gathered again in the building on East Washington and were informed the clinic was closing in two weeks, on May 26th.

“{It’s} a very big shock to a lot of our clients,” said service facilitator Kelsey South. “And the owners were pretty positive about the outlook of the clinic and told staff not to be worried about what was going on, and then we received an email saying that we were going to be meeting on Friday the 12th.”

South says in that meeting, they were told the clinic would close but were not filled in on a clear reason why or what prompted the sudden change. On Monarch Health’s website, a message is posted about the closure. Now, multiple staff members say they are scrambling to try and figure out what is next for them and their patients.

“It’s really hard to see clients that are really upset, understandably so, because they’re losing their support and just worried about if they might relapse or if they’ll get really sick from not having the medications that they need,” said South.

She says one of the suggested transfer clinics is in Middleton, but most of their hundreds of patients do not have access to a personal car and live in the shelters near the current location, which is also right on the bus line.

“This location is a prime location because it’s right downtown. It’s on the bus line. It’s within walking distance from The Beacon, which is right across the street. The women’s shelter, the Salvation Army is right down East Wash,” said South.

The clinic helps people with mental health concerns and those battling addiction and substance use. Staff are voicing concerns about how they will continue recovery with just two weeks’ notice to find new care. South says not every patient shows up every week or has consistent access to a phone and could show up next week to a locked door and no explanations.

“A lot of days within the last week or so we’ve had a lot of patients coming yelling and upset because they were given less than a week’s notice,” said Janeen Bell, a former employee. “Just seeing the patients suffer. It’s not fair for the patients.”

Bell was a medical assistant for Monarch Health until Friday. Bell and South say the Department of Health Services was in the building, investigating patient complaints. Bell says she was terminated without an explanation later that day, just days before the clinic is set to close.

NBC15 attempted to reach out to the owners, who did not respond.

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