AUSTIN, Minnesota - The prestigious Mayo Clinic has long been considered a paramount provider of healthcare. In Austin and Albert Lea, four years worth of construction on facilities in both locations are paying off.
The completion of the renovation and expansion project is the culmination of a vision of a single hospital with two campuses. Some in-patient care services, including medical and surgical inpatient care units, the ICU and the Family Birth Center are now being concentrated in Austin. In Albert Lea, inpatient behavioral health and addiction services are located on the respective campus. Emergency room care, clinic visits in primary and specialty care, pediatrics, internal medicine, outpatient procedures and surgeries, pregnancy care, lab and radiology and pharmacy services are at both locations.
MCHS CEO Mark Ciota says the project was made to ensure efficient care in the Southern Minnesota communities.
"We had great difficulty staffing and supporting the hospital in each community, in physicians, nursing and other staff needed. We thought long term it would be difficult in the future, so we wanted to have a plan that kept as much great healthcare as we could locally. That's what patients want."
Even with a pandemic that radically altered virtually every facet of life, including the healthcare industry, the project stayed on track. Regional Vice President Dr. Robert Albright credits the staff at both sites for continuing to take care of patients during the height of the pandemic, and adds that the seamlessness of care may have not even been possible if the two separate hospital model was still utilized.
"That arguably might not have been possible had we been under our previous model. I think it's a real testimony to the wisdom of the integrated approach."
To date, Mayo Clinic has invested more than $25 million in both facilities.