Merger Of Two Lakes Area Medical Clinics To Become Effective This Coming July 1st

Fri 6-5-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- The merger of two lakes area medical clinics takes affect this summer. Jennifer Gustafson of Lakes Regional Healthcare tells KUOO news Avera Medical Group Lakes Family Practice and Avera Medical Group Spirit Lake Medical Center will become effective July 1st...Clinic Merger01 

"Literally ever since the hospital started which was in 1959, they, too, have been, they've been separate. However in the past few years they've taken steps to merge and that merge is going to be official beginning July 1st. Theyr're going to merge so Lakes Family Practice and Spirit Lake Medical Center, those names will both be dropping away and they will be merging together to be known as Lakes Regional Family Medicine. And then they'll physically be combined into one clinic when the new medical office building opens."

Other than a change in the appearance of some paperwork, Gustafson says the transition will be seamless for patients...Clinic Merger02 

"They'll just go to the medical office building and check in like they normally would. At this point they also won't see a change. The only change that they'll really see I guess will be when they receive paperwork like maybe bills or something like that it will say Lakes Regional Family Medicine instead of Spirit Lake Medical Center or Lakes Family Practice. But at the current time they can still go to the respective physical locations they have been but then once the new medical office building opens up they'll go to that one and they'll just check in and it will be just all together."

Gustafson adds construction of the new medical office building continues to make good progress. She says one of the main goals of the project was to assist with the recruitment of new physicians and Gustafson says it's already having an impact...Clinic Merger03 

"You know most recently we had Craig Cunningham join the clinic, and starting this August we actually have a new physician coming, and actually I'll let you know that it is Doctor Avril Thoose and he's starting in August and then a year from this August we have another physician that's starting and, you know, this is during a time when a lot of places are having really hard times recruiting physicians."

The new medical office building at Lakes Regional Healthcare is still on track to open late this summer.