Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition to close on new clinic building

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2020

After more than two years of planning, the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition and its supporters will close Friday on the purchase of the former Herberger’s building at Northbridge Mall.

Community members are invited to attend the closing at noon Friday at the site, which later this year is expected to open as a MercyOne clinic, according to a press release.

Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition, originally organized in 2017 as Save Our Hospital, was formed by hundreds of concerned community members in response to news that Mayo Clinic Health System would transition most inpatient services from its campus in Albert Lea to Austin, including labor and delivery, intensive care and surgeries requiring overnight hospitalization.

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The citizen group and the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County hired an outside consultant to assess the viability of an alternative health care campus and the reintroduction of lost services. The assessment was positive and the group began their journey toward the procurement of a new site, building and partnership with a new service provider.

“Through the commitment of our community and local giving by private citizens and area businesses, we now have the ability to close on the building purchase and move into the next phase of our plan,” said trustee Brad Arends in the release. “That next phase will include renovations and completion of our design plan, in partnership with MercyOne, for a full-service clinic and outpatient surgery center.”

He said the community will be one step closer to regaining control of medical services offered in the community, reducing the cost of health care and eventually restoring services that were moved.

Trustee Jean Eaton encouraged people to attend the event.

“It will be a proud moment that we want to share with everyone in the community,” Eaton said. “We will have a celebration and are excited to have our large donor present for the closing; we’ve kept a pretty good lid on who he is so it will be extra sweet to make that reveal as well.”