At the entrance to Herberger’s inside the Northbridge Mall, the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition announced it has reached an agreement with The Carrington Company to purchase the former Herberger’s department store space for the site of a new clinic it is partnering with MercyOne North Iowa to build and operate.
“Almost two years ago, together with the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County, we began exploring the feasibility of bringing an alternative health care provider to our community,” stated Brad Arends, chairman of Save Our Healthcare and president of the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition. “Our outside consultant told us that we would have to accomplish our ultimate goals in stages. Today, with our new partner MercyOne, we mark the beginning of stage one–securing a building for the development of a full-service clinic and out-patient surgery center.”
Arends emphasized that this is an extraordinary opportunity and a pivotal time. “To execute our business plan there is a lot of work left to be done, and its success hinges on the continued support of our citizenry, business community, and local government. Together we can regain some control of the medical services offered in our community, dramatically reduce the cost of care to our citizens, and eventually restore services that have been stripped from Albert Lea.”
A representative from MercyOne shared Arends’s enthusiasm. “MercyOne North Iowa is excited to serve the Albert Lea community and we are looking forward to designing the space for the new clinic,” said Teresa Mock, MD, Senior Vice President of MercyOne Medical Group – North Iowa. “In November, we will hold a 3P event, a methodology that allows us to design the space, keeping consumers and processes at the forefront. During the event, we will build a ‘life size’ model of the space out of cardboard. As the space is built, MercyOne will run simulations of patient care scenarios to make sure the space works well for both patients and the clinical staff.”
The 3P will be held November 4-8 with a public open house scheduled for Saturday, November 9, from 10 am to 3 pm. All are welcome to tour the ‘cardboard clinic’ for a sneak peak of how the new clinic will look. During the open house, the public will have the opportunity to take ‘selfie’ photos that will become a piece of artwork inside the finished clinic.