A worker covers the Talmer Bank & Trust logo on an ATM machine in front of the former Caro branch at 345 N. State St. on Friday. Caro Community Hospital plans to open an after-hours clinic at the site next spring. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

A worker covers the Talmer Bank & Trust logo on an ATM machine in front of the former Caro branch at 345 N. State St. on Friday. Caro Community Hospital plans to open an after-hours clinic at the site next spring. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

Caro Community Hospital to open after-hours clinic in downtown Caro

A worker covers the Talmer Bank & Trust logo on an ATM machine in front of the former Caro branch at 345 N. State St. on Friday. Caro Community Hospital plans to open an after-hours clinic at the site next spring. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)
A worker covers the Talmer Bank & Trust logo on an ATM machine in front of the former Caro branch at 345 N. State St. on Friday. Caro Community Hospital plans to open an after-hours clinic at the site next spring. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

Caro Community Hospital plans to open an after-hours clinic in downtown Caro at the location of a former Talmer Bank and Trust branch that closed Friday.
The clinic will be located at 345 N. State Street in Caro and is expected to open early next spring, according to a release from the hospital.
The idea is to provide services generally between the hours of 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., and in a location that is most convenient for those in or near Caro.
“Our new after-hours clinic is a great example of how we are adapting to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve,” said Marc Augsburger, president and CEO, Caro Community Hospital.
Augsburger said clinic hours “will be set specifically to address the need in the communities when the other clinics are closed.
“Everyone needing minor care has either been paying too much in the (emergency department) for something they didn’t need to be in the (emergency department) for, or driving over 30 minutes to go to another after-hours clinic,” said Augsburger. “We’re hoping to address that need and keep those patients in the community.”
Caro Community Health conducted community health needs assessments in 2013 and earlier this year, seeking input from members of the community about health needs and “opportunities for improvement.”
“A major recommendation that came out of the assessments was the serious need for an after-hours clinic for the non-emergent medical needs of our community,” said Augsburger.
Augsburger said up to five new jobs will be created through the new clinic.
The former Talmer Bank will be completely gutted to make it ready to provide medical care. Augsburger said it was too early to put a price tag on the project.
The former Talmer branch location in Caro was one of three in Michigan’s thumb region affected by a so-called “merger of equals” between Troy-based Talmer Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: TLMR) and Chemical Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: CHFC) of Midland.
Chemical Financial reported net income of $10.7 million, or 22 cents a share, for the third quarter ending Sept. 30. That’s compared with about $24.5 million, or 64 cents a share, for the same year-ago period. The Chemical-Talmer merger was completed Aug. 31 and gave the resulting company a total of $17.4 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.
Robert Wolak, community president, Chemical Bank in Caro, said about $521 million of those assets are in the thumb region, representing about 26 percent held by banks in Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac counties.
The merger created the largest bank based in Michigan, but also left the company – now operating as Chemical Bank – with a glut of locations in some parts of the thumb region (though also expanded in locations including Sebewaing).
Talmer customers were converted to Chemical Bank during the past weekend.
Wolak said in addition to the Talmer branch in Caro closing, Chemical Bank locations in Bad Axe and Harbor Beach have closed and operations been moved to nearby Talmer branch locations (rebranded as Chemical Bank).
Wolak said purchase agreements for the former banking branches in Bad Axe and Harbor Beach are being finalized. He couldn’t comment on potential buyers.
Chemical Bank has about 70 employees in the thumb region, including 20 in Caro. Wolak said “less than a half-dozen” layoffs resulted in the region as a result of the merger.
Further, he told The Advertiser, Chemical remains committed to Caro.
The branch at 240 N. State Street is undergoing renovations to accommodate increased business in the area. Construction will include using the bank’s drive-through facility as a temporary lobby for a short time, Wolak said.
Chemical also will continue to support the local community as it always has, he said.
“We continue to operate as a community bank and we expect to see no change in that,” Wolak said. “Even though we’re a little larger, we still have local community boards of directors, and we have that group here in the thumb.
“We’re pretty proud of that fact we still have that local community bank feel,” Wolak said. “But when you get into a larger project when you need a little more financing, we’re still able to do that, too.”
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at andrew@tcadvertiser.com

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