AUSABLE FORKS — Contemplating retirement was difficult for Dr. Richard Bremer.
“I’ve taken care of people for 39 years," said the physician, who will take that step officially on June 14. "I've taken care of three generations.
“The toughest part about saying good-bye is they are more than my patients — they are my friends. I know these people quite well.”
Bremer’s family practice is located in downtown AuSable Forks, and he also serves as the health officer for the towns of Black Brook and Jay. His secretary, Lynn Fernia, has been with him for three decades there.
“I have 92-, 93-year-old patients," he said. "I’m the only doctor they’ve had (for 39 years). It’s difficult to find somebody new at that age.”
CLINIC TO OPEN
However, there will be a physician available to the community.
On July 1, just a few weeks after Bremer's departure, Elizabethtown Community Hospital will open a clinic in AuSable Forks with a doctor and a nurse-practitioner.
“This has been in the works for over a year,” Bremer said. “I told Elizabethtown Hospital about my plans back then.”
Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said the hospital will operate its clinic in Bremer’s former offices, which are owned by the Town of Black Brook, for a few months while looking for a permanent home.
He praised Bremer for his devotion to his patients and the community.
“Forty years ago, my father, Thomas Douglas, the former Jay supervisor, along with Joe Casey, Abe Lincoln and a few other community-minded people, conducted a nationwide search to hire a doctor to serve our townships’ medical needs,” he said in a news release.
“My father highly respected Dr. Bremer and felt fortunate to have been able to help recruit him to our community.”