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City of Springfield announces Allina Health partnership

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Taking part in a new Springfield Medical Facility lease partnership announcement with Allina Health Thursday are from left, Springfield City Manager Joe Stremcha, Springfield City Councilwoman Dr. Theresa Beckman, New Ulm Medical Center President Toby Freier and Andrew Reeves, MD, Neurology, NUMC.

SPRINGFIELD — The City of Springfield announced Thursday that Allina Health has been selected as its new health care provider to serve patients when Mayo Clinic Health System vacates its Springfield site in March 2020.

“As city leaders, it was our obligation to identify a long-term partner that we know will provide high-quality care for the people of Springfield well into the future. We are pleased we didn’t need to look very far,” said Springfield City Manager Joe Stremcha.

“Allina Health and New Ulm Medical Center have been integral to health care in our area for decades. We believe the decision to partner with Allina Health will help our residents receive comprehensive services connected to New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC),” Stremcha said.

Last week, Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) announced plans to close its facilities in Springfield and Lamberton on March 1, 2020.

Under the agreement, Allina Health will assume operations of the Mayo Clinic Health System at 625 N. Jackson Ave. Services provided will include primary care, specialty care consultations, tele-health visits, medical imaging lab, and rehabilitation services.

Allina Health will expand its partnership with St. John Lutheran Home, 201 S. CR 5.

“We will provide care for residents and engage the community to explore new partnerships for health improvement and Emergency Medical Services support,” said NUMC President Toby Freier.

“Allina Health is excited and honored to be joining the Springfield community,” said Freier. “Many Springfield residents have received care and service from New Ulm Medical Center, the Minneapolis Heart Institute and Allina Health for years. This opportunity is a comfortable fit for all of us.”

Freier said NUMC has built a reputation as a collaborator with partnerships in Sleepy Eye, Glencoe, and Hutchinson.

“We feel the future of health care needs more collaboration,” Freier said. “We see this as the start of an enhanced partnership. We welcome this as an opportunity to reconnect, listen and understand what the practices are and what the next health care model is for this city and area.”

Freier said after talking with Springfield leaders, the initial plan is to maintain current providers, which is what he considers “a strength.”

“We’ll offer support to the EMS team here,” Freier said. “The providers here are top notch, extremely dedicated. We plan to add things like the Heart of New Ulm with its nutrition and exercise and build partnerships. I’m excited about the pride, excitement and engagement of city leaders here. We want to collaborate here, helping the people we serve.”

Andrew Reeves, M.D. Neurology at NUMC, said every community has its own unique set of circumstances.

“We don’t come in with a top-down plan. We have a great opportunity to partner with health care here,” Reeves said. “I come here with my partners to figure this out.”

Springfield City Councilwoman Dr. Theresa Beckman said the city council unanimously voted based on community input, trends and sustainability of Allina to afford the level of care Springfield came to expect.

“We are committed to make this transition as seamless as possible,” Beckman said. “To our current healthcare staff, we would like to thank you for elevating the standards of healthcare in this area. We hope this decision will put your mind at ease.”

Springfield City Councilman John Mueller said Springfield and surrounding communities “graciously welcome” Allina administration, doctors, advanced practice providers, nurses, support staff and friends of Allina to the community.

“Today we embrace a mutually beneficial partnership with one of the strongest healthcare organizations in Minnesota and look forward to a strong future together,” Mueller wrote in a Dec. 12 letter to Freier.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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