Residents invited to attend roundtable meeting with Walz about Mayo concerns

Published 4:54 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

First District Congressman Tim Walz will host a roundtable meeting Monday at Albert Lea City Hall to hear concerns about Mayo Clinic Health System’s plans to consolidate most inpatient services in Albert Lea to its Austin campus.

Tim Walz

The event will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 221 E. Clark St.

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Local officials, union leaders with the Minnesota Nurses Association and Service Employees International Union, leaders with the Save Our Hospital organization and 1st District constituents are invited to attend.

Walz earlier this week issued a written statement about the issue, saying he had received feedback from local residents about their concerns with the hospital system’s announcement. The hospital plans to move Albert Lea’s intensive care unit to Austin in October, followed by inpatient surgeries in January. The behavioral health unit is expected to move from Austin to Albert Lea in 2019, and labor and delivery services are planned to be the last to relocate to Austin in late 2019 or early 2020.

Walz stated people have expressed concern about how the changes will affect economic development and jobs in the area.

“Moreover, the community worries that losing parts of the hospital will make Albert Lea less attractive to young people looking for a community to settle down and raise a family,” he said. “I share their concerns and have expressed those concerns to Mayo Clinic.”