By Sandy Long
“Dec 09, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) has announced the opening of the first on-site Statcare medical clinic within the TA and Petro Stopping Centers branded travel center network. The Statcare clinic, operated by Family Statcare of Northeast Ohio, LLC, is located at the TA travel center at 8834 Lake Rd., Seville, Ohio.”
That sounds great does it not. It was great; a trucker’s clinic right in the middle of a major hub for trucking, but it did not last long though. Shortly after the above press release, the Westfield Township zoning inspector visited the clinic and shut it down for not meeting the zoning code. Come to find out, the area is zoned for eating places, motels, truck stops and repair shops, and even sexually oriented businesses, but not medical clinics!
Ken Filbert, the owner of Family Statcare, said that he met with a chiropractor who was located at the TA just before his clinic opened. When he asked the zonong inspector why the chiropractor was allowed to operate, but not the clinic, the zoning inspector informed him, “that he didn’t know the chiropractor was there, but we caught you.”
Filbert is well-intentioned concerning truckers, he says, “truckers do so much for this country, I wanted to start this clinic providing low cost, affordable, reachable medical services for the truckers in return, I wanted to give them something back. This clinic is close to home for my company, so we are in hopes of fine tuning it here, then expanding across the country to help truckers.”
Filbert reported that Westfield Township has not offered any quick solutions to the zoning issue. “They did not offer a temporary zoning permit while we work in the paperwork, or to have a special session of the township to expedite the permit process, it will take three months or more to get the zoning changed once we get the paperwork done.”
Some of the services the clinic will offer are drug testing, DOT physicals, illness care, and minor wound care. Filbert even arranged with a local pharmacy to deliver medications directly to the truck stop within an hour of calling the prescription in for truckers who needed them. “I understand both the difficulty of getting a 70 foot rig to a drug store and the problem of drivers getting home for doctor appointments with their own doctors so that many run out of medications.” He said.
Tongue in cheek, Filbert quipped, “Here I am trying to help truckers and perhaps other travelers by providing fast access to healthcare, and rather than cooperation on the part of the city, I get closed down immediately. Yet, if I had opened adult video store or a strip club, Westfield Township would not mind a bit. Go figure!”
Filbert has a petition at the TA truck stop in Seville OH if you stop by there, or you can sign an online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/re-open-the-truck-drivers-clinic/ . By gathering signatures, Filbert hopes that Westfield Township will see how much people do care about trucker’s health and expedites the process or at least does something positive. “This is the cold and flu season and trucker’s need medical care now!” Filbert says, “We have to get this clinic open so we can provide those truckers that care.”