Ground broken for Albert Lea primary care clinic

After 43 months of meetings, negotiations and delays, the former Herbergers space at Northbridge Mall will be transformed into a primary care clinic operated by MercyOne North Iowa, with a primary opening date of July 1

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 1:26 AM
Updated: Jan 15, 2021 5:34 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minnesota - It's a celebration over three years in the making.

The new MercyOne North Iowa clinic inside Northbridge Mall is a result of a multi-year effort launched when Mayo Clinic announced in 2017 that it would be moving in-patient medical services to their Austin campus. On Thursday morning, groundbreaking for the new clinic was officially held inside the former Herbergers space, with 14,000 sq. ft. of the 64,000 sq. ft. space being designated for phase 1 of the primary care clinic. 

The Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition, an evolution of what started out originally as Save Our Hospital and then Save Our Healthcare, purchased the space last year, and will be leased to MercyOne. ALHC President Brad Arends noted during the ceremony that when the announcement was initially made, citizens made their voices loud and clear that they wanted to keep essential care services available in their community, and were willing to contribute around $5 million altogether during the fundraising process. He adds that it's the people's continued work and patience that have made this clinic possible.

"This is a testament to the perserverance, the dedication, and the will of the citizens of Albert Lea. It's them who deserve the credit today, and their fortitude and their attitude that, not only do we want these important services in Albert Lea, but we need them. We need them to be a vibrant community. For a community the size of Albert Lea, it is an expectation to have these kinds of services."

Though the ceremony was limited to MercyOne representatives, coalition trustees and architects, community members packed the parking lot in front of the future clinic, listening through their radios and honking their horns in lieu of applause to celebrate this milestone.

"It really is a testament of what can be done with a cause and a lot of supporters that are passionate. And that's what happened here."

MercyOne North Iowa agreed to partner with the coalition to run the clinic in September 2019. President Rod Schlader says it's the organization's first foray into Minnesota.

"It's been a huge amount of work and collaboration with these partners. We've gone through a few rough edges trying to negotiate this, but in the end, we had the same mission and vision to provide healthcare here in Albert Lea. I think our organizations fit together beautifully to get that done."

The first phase for the clinic, which will also include a mobile imaging center set up outside, is aimed to be completed by July 1 of this year. Future phases will include additional exam rooms, an in-house imaging center, an outpatient surgery center and other services, depending on patient needs.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
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Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
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Kanabec108820
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Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
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Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
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