BRIDGEPORT HOSPITAL TO BECOME COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC - After losing $6.2 million in 19 months operating as a hospital, Wise Regional Health System will convert its Bridgeport campus to an urgent care/ambulatory surgery center in January 2015. The change, which will eliminate the emergency room, was approved Monday evening at a hospital board meeting and announced to employees Tuesday. Wise Regional CEO Steve Summers said the ER in Bridgeport has consistently seen about 400 patients a month, but surveys indicate 95 percent of those could still be treated in an urgent-care environment. The other 5 percent - most of whom come in with chest pains - are being transferred to the Decatur campus already, since the system's cardiac facilities are based there. Bridgeport, which will be staffed with nurse practitioners and operated as part of Wise Clinical Care Associates, will still have x-rays, suturing and other medical services - "everything an urgent-care clinic does," Summers said. He estimates the change will save the system about $2 million over the next 12 months. The ER will continue to operate through Dec. 31 and the urgent-care clinic will open Jan. 1 or 2.