Updated: February 17, 2020 03:49 PM
Created: February 14, 2020 06:39 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- Friday marked a victorious Valentine’s Day for the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition. The group originally formed as Save Our Hospital closed on the purchase of the former Herberger's in the Northbridge Mall, soon to be leased to and the newest site of MercyOne.
Efforts to save healthcare services in Albert Lea began when Mayo Clinic announced they would end some offerings in Albert Lea. After unsuccessful negotiations with Mayo Clinic, the coalition eventually resulted to plan b, deciding to build their alternative.
"We effectively lost control of our healthcare here in Albert Lea and as a result we had no say in terms of what services were going to be provided here in town and at what cost. The only way that we could get that back was to have some sort of power,” said the president of the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition Brad Arends.
In attendance of the celebration was Albert Lea High School graduate and $1,000,000 donor John Morrison.
The initial build of the new facility will include phases one and two of a five-phase plan. MercyOne will initially open as a primary care clinic with some limited imaging. As patient load increases, in around 3 to 5 years, the facility will expand to offer full panel imaging and outpatient surgery.
"The goal is to eventually have a birthing center here in Albert Lea, but you can't have labor and delivery without first having a clinic for the expectant mothers to routinely go to. It has to kind of go in an order, a logical progression, where you have to kind of build it in stages,” Arends said.
Construction is expected to begin in April with a target opening date of October 1.
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