Shelburne Family Practice to close Oct. 15

  • Family Nurse Practitioner Anna Foster is closing her practice on the Mohawk Trail in Shelburne after seven years at the location. Foster’s last day is Oct. 15. Staff Photo/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Shelburne Family Practice on the Mohawk Trail will close on Oct. 15. Staff Photo/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/30/2021 3:42:52 PM

SHELBURNE — After seven years on the Mohawk Trail (Route 2), Family Nurse Practitioner Anna Foster plans to close her Shelburne Family Practice on Oct. 15.

Foster, who has been serving people in the medical field since she volunteered at nursing homes at age 15, has decided it is time for her next chapter, noting she’ll reassess her situation and goals in the spring after traveling around the country for six months.

“I’ve got other things I want to do. I’m relatively young and healthy,” Foster said. “I’m not retiring from life or medicine, I’m just retiring from this adventure for now.”

Foster said she’s been somewhat disillusioned with the insurance industry’s grip on medical care and the difficulties that are placed on providers and patients alike.

“It’s disheartening to see what’s going on with insurance companies and how people are unable to get the care they deserve or need because of insurance mandates,” Foster said. “It’s become a big money maker at the cost of patients. As a provider, it’s very hard to jump through the hoops and take care of the patients the way you want.”

She added the paperwork, while necessary, drains so much time that could be spent with patients.

“I love my patients, I hate the paperwork,” Foster said. “You spend more time on that than the patients and that’s not right.”

While she isn’t exactly sure what the future looks like for her, Foster knows she will be serving patients and not sitting behind a desk. She noted she is interested in “alternative therapies” and may look into those as her next step.

“I’m not a paper pusher,” Foster said. “In some capacity, I’ll get back to patient care.”

Although her practice on the Mohawk Trail has only been open for seven years, Foster started working with Dr. Robert Miller at his practice in Shelburne Falls in 1999. Since then, she’s maintained connections with her patients. In fact, Foster said the most rewarding part of her job has been seeing her patients grow and have families of their own.

“I’ve known patients since they were kids and now grown into adults and seen them have babies,” Foster said. “I love my patients. … I will miss them.”

She added the closing of her practice is leaving a gap in medical coverage in western Franklin County, and someone else will need to step up to care for residents. Foster has been referring more than 1,000 patients to other doctors in the region as she prepares to close her practice.

“West County really needs some providers up here. We’re all aging,” Foster said. “It’ll be interesting to see who’s first to come up here and open a new practice. … It’s a nice, small community and you get to know a lot of people.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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