Posted at: 08/29/2013 7:27 PM
Updated at: 08/29/2013 7:29 PM
By: Jenna Lohse
Blooming Prairie Mayo Clinic Closed
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- As plans are set for Mayo Clinic to double in size in Rochester over the next decade, a Mayo facility is forced to close its doors in Blooming Prairie. No longer having a local physician will have an impact on the community.
"Yesterday when I heard that that was the last day, I was as surprised as anyone," said Becky Noble, of Blooming Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
The sign on the outside of the clinic door says it all. Mayo Clinic Health System in Blooming Prairie is now closed due to a staffing shortage.
"There was no waiting when you had a medical issue in this community, you just got right in to see your doctor," said Noble.
Becky Noble has lived in Blooming Prairie her whole life. While it doesn't take much for her to drive to the alternative clinics in Austin or Owatonna, she says there's many local patients who don't have that ability.
Like many of those at the Senior Citizen Center in town.
"If you had an ear ache or some small thing you can go up to this clinic and it's really handy," said Lois Friesner of Blooming Prairie.
Having a convenient location for medical exams is key when many of these seniors don't have a vehicle or even a driver’s license.
"It's going to be hard for them to go out of town,” said Friesner.
"A lot of them aren't mobile, they can't take the SCAT bus for transportation and then if they do they end up having to wait for house in order to get home,” said LuAnn Fairbairn, Site Manager for SEMCAC.
In a statement released by Mayo Clinic they apologize for any inconvenience and call the situation temporary, saying the pharmacy will remain open for now. Many local residents are hoping another physician will take over.
"I'm hoping that we are lucky enough to get a doctor to come a day or two a week to fill that spot because I think all communities need a doctor,” said Noble.
Mayo Clinic officials have not said how long the Blooming Prairie facility will remain closed. This is the second Mayo Clinic Health System to close its doors just this year in Southern Minnesota.