ALBERT LEA, Minn. - The Freeborn County Commissioners approved a resolution regarding the Albert Lea Mayo Clinic Health System.
In June of 2017, it was announced that the health care provider would be combining the Austin and Albert Lea labor and delivery units into one.
The change has grabbed the community’s attention. The "save our hospital" group was formed to fight the changes. That group now goes by the name "save our health care."
Mayo Clinic Health System explains their reason for the change in a statement:
Two years ago, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin began the process of consolidating select services in order to continue providing high-quality care to our patients despite significant rural workforce challenges. One of those services making this transition is labor and delivery. Several other services have already made that transition (ICU, Psychiatry care, inpatient surgery).
Combining two separate labor and delivery units (in Albert Lea and Austin) into a single unit will lead to an optimal situation and long-term solution for both patients and staff at Mayo Clinic Health System. Pre-natal (throughout pregnancy and prior to delivery) and post-natal care (both mother and baby after childbirth) will continue to be available on both Albert Lea and Austin campuses.
No decision regarding any service changes has been made lightly. We’ve been working to keep our patients and members of the community up-to-date on these changes.
These adjustments are being made to ensure that both of our locations in Albert Lea and Austin remain sustainable for decades to come.
The transition to Austin will happen sometime next year but Tom Jensen says many are still hoping the Health care provider will have a change of heart.
“Since the resolution has been adopted officially by the board, we will draft a cover letter and send it to the chairman of the board of Mayo health system in Rochester and asking for some kind of availability to sit down, " said Jensen.
The Freeborn County Community Health Board is now reaching out to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison for help as they request to keep a birth center in Albert Lea.