CLARKFIELD — A dental clinic serving the community of Clarkfield is closing due to the inability to attract providers to the rural setting.

The Open Door Health Center leadership and board of directors announced Friday that it will permanently close the Clarkfield clinic effective Friday, April 2.

It has not seen patients since Dr. Carol Anderson, DDS, left in early January, and has not been able to recruit a new provider, the nonprofit health service stated in a news release.

“This decision was not made lightly. The Open Door mission is to provide quality health care to everyone in southern Minnesota. We understand that access to care in these rural communities is a very important issue,” said Doug Jaeger, CEO of Open Door Health Center, in the release. “We have worked aggressively to attract dentists and hygienists to our southwest Minnesota clinics. After more than a year, we have been unable to attract the necessary dental professionals who are willing to live in or around this rural setting.”

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The board of directors for Open Door Health Center met Feb. 25 to discuss options.

Board chair Val Reid said, “Access to dental care in rural areas is a huge problem. This decision was painful.”

The leaders met face to face with Clarkfield Dental Clinic staff, and Jaeger said Open Door offered to transfer these valued employees to other clinics.

The Clarkfield Clinic opened in 2017.

Open Door continues to provide quality dental services to patients in both Mankato and Jordan.

“We will continue to look for innovative ways to meet patient care needs close to home,” said Reid in the release.