by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Personalized care is the specialty at West Linn Primary Care. From the left are Dr. Huey Meeker, office manager Kelly Klingele, and medical assistant Carissa Haines.At a time when doctors are flocking to corporate practice, Dr. Huey J. Meeker is going the other way at West Linn Primary Care.

Meeker is observing his first year in business at the clinic at 18670 Willamette Drive, West Linn.

He likes life as sort of the “Lone Ranger” of medicine.

“Everyone is going more corporate,” Meeker said. “Here I’m alone. I’m the only guy here.”

But there are two women — Meeker’s wife, Kelly Klingele, who serves as office manager, and medical assistant Carissa Haines.

“Very few doctors are on their own,” Klingele said. “They’re part of a big group or big systems.”

Meeker’s situation seems like an awful lot of work for one doctor, and Meeker said, “I don’t think anyone works harder than me.”

But after trying the corporate health care way himself, he likes being his own boss. It is much better than being micromanaged and not having any weekends off.

“I’m on call 24 hours a day,” Meeker said. “My patients can always talk to me.”

“The patients love it,” Klingele added.

Going alone is risky business because the corporations do big advertising and have big resources. But Klingele noted: “Our patients love the personalized care they get and being able to have access to the same physician 24 hours a day.”

One more good thing: Dr. Meeker sees his patients in the hospital as well, which allows the patient to have better continuity of care.

West Linn Primary Care is very much a family project for Meeker and Klingele, whose romance began, appropriately enough, in a hospital.

“We’re still finding our way here,” Klingele said.

He continued, “It was a scary decision. There are very few independent practitioners left in our area. But we’re doing pretty good.”

An open house is planned at West Linn Primary Care from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4.

The first day is for professionals and the second day is for the public.

For more information, call 503-636-1133.

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