Mayo Clinic Health Systems to close Adams location on March 15

(ABC 6 News) – Adams is an outlier of a small town. The people who live here can still find their basic necessities without going out of town.

Adams has its own gas station, grocery store, local diner, post office and even a gym. But soon, resident will be without a critical necessity in town.

On March 1, Mayo Clinic Health system informed residents of Adams that they will be closing their clinic in town on March 15 and relocating all staff to their Austin location.

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Many patients living in or near Adams are angry, as many of the clinic’s patients are elderly and cannot make the drive to Austin on their own.

“Health care is supposed to be for everybody,” said Pat Sorenson, a retired nurse who’s lived in Adams since 1961. “And I don’t see it one bit, not the way Mayo Clinic is working.”

Sorenson worked at multiple nursing homes and the clinic throughout her career, before retiring in 2008.

“I mean, they can say that [rural health care] doesn’t give us enough money, well give us a doctor, give us a good doctor. When we had one, it made plenty of money, we were always busy out there five days a week.”

Currently, the Adams clinic is open three days a week.

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Sorenson says she and other patients of Adams Mayo Clinic Health System’s location all found out about the closure from a text sent out to all patients on Friday, March 1.

Sorenson already knows the drive to Austin for herself and many other elderly patients is a challenge. She constantly made trips with her husband, Almon, for his healthcare before he died.

“It was always a struggle,” she said. “Getting him in the car, getting him out of the car, getting him in the clinic and getting him out. And the wait period. Out here, you have very short waiting period. Up there you have a long time.”

Representative Andy Smith of Rochester is working on a bill to make these types of closure have more time to notify patients and employees than the two weeks notice those in Adams received.

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“Right now, we already have in statute certain things but other things are not clarified such as who needs to be notified, what should be the content of that notification besides just like when it’s going to close,” Smith said.

If and when this legislation passes, it may be too late for towns like Adams and their aging population.

ABC 6 News did reach to Mayo Clinic for interview, but declined, offering the following statement instead.

Even though our location in Adams will no longer offer in-person health care, we are confident our nearby Mayo Clinic Health System and Mayo Clinic locations will provide uninterrupted options, suitable to best meet our patients needs

“To me, it’s like punishing the elderly. It was small town America that built the town, built the country,” said Sorenson. “Why punish us now?”