Mayo Clinic Health System kicks off $14.9 million dollar enhancement project in Albert Lea

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(ABC 6 News) -Mayo Clinic Health System kicked off its $14.9 million campus enhancement and modernization project in Albert Lea Thursday.

This expansion is so important to the people in and around Albert Lea who come here for care.

This project is intended to modernize and expand on an already state-of-the-art facility.

Thursday afternoon, officials held a ‘wall-breaking’ to symbolize the expansion of world class care to the many patients the clinic treats.

“One of the things that we are passionate about is augmenting and bringing forth rural care. Bringing that up to mayo clinic standards and augmenting how we are interacting with communities,” said Mayo Clinic Health System Regional VP Dr. Robert Albright.

A few years ago, some departments and services were moved out of Albert Lea to Austin which did not sit well with the community members.

“Of course, like a lot of people I had my concerns and change is always tough for everybody. But, I think the important part is that we need to continue to have access for everyone in the community,” said xxxxxx

The clinic had promised to the community that they would invest more in the facility. But that investment was delayed.

“We had planned this several years ago, but because of COVID-19, it had to be put on the back burner. So we are so excited that we can renew that commitment to the community,” said xxxx.

This project will benefit departments like amulatory surgery and infusion therapy, the emergency room and the outpatient fountain center and behavioral health.

But with increased space and equipment the clinic doesn’t just need more patients. It needs more staff as well.

“Being able to hire people locally and being able to attract people from all over the world who want to live in this community. Part of that is augmented and built by the building we’re doing,” xxxx

The renovations and relocations are expected to begin in October and will occur in a phased approach over the course of 18–24 months.

All departments will remain in full operation throughout the project. 

ABC 6 News reporter Alex Cotter caught up with Physician lead Dr. Sumit Bhagra on what changes are expected.

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Project highlights include:

Outpatient Fountain Centers (Mayo Clinic’s Chemical Dependency Treatment Program) and Behavioral Health
Outpatient services will relocate to vacated space on the second floor of the hospital. A common reception area with separate waiting spaces for Outpatient Behavior Health and Fountain Centers patients will be constructed.

Also, seven spacious office and treatment rooms for behavioral health patients, including dedicated space for telehealth visits and pediatric appointments will be built. The expanded space will accommodate two newly hired health care professionals and provide space for future growth.

Ambulatory Surgery and Infusion Therapy
Ambulatory Surgery and Infusion Therapy will relocate to the former outpatient Fountain Centers and Behavioral Health space. This space will feature 16 large presurgical and postsurgical rooms and a procedure room. The space is co-located with operating room suites toward the front of the building.

Emergency Department
The expanded Emergency Department will include 16 beds, including 10 general care rooms, three safe rooms with views of the lake and three observation rooms. New patient and visitor waiting areas, including a reflection space, will be constructed.

In addition, staff workstations will have improved line of sight of patient rooms and overall security will increase for patients and staff. Telemedicine equipment will be hard-wired in each room and available on mobile workstations.