New Combined Clinic At Lakes Regional Healthcare Is In Planning And Design Phases

Mon 8-20-2018

(Spirit Lake)-- A new medical clinic that would replace two existing ones adjacent to Lakes Regional Healthcare is in the planning and design stages. Jennifer Gustafson, Vice President of Marketing and Retail Services at Lakes Regional Healthcare tells KUOO news the existing clinic, built in 1978, has become outdated. She says a new facility would address that issue, as well as helping with physician recruitment...New Clinic01 

"We have a done a great job of recruiting some new physicians to this area. In fact, Brad Meyer, he's our newest physician, he's going to be starting September 4th. Part of the attraction of getting people to want to come and practice here is having a newer clinic in which to practice. And so the historical separation of the two clinics created some inefficiencies in the call schedule and other activities that directly impact the physicians and combining the practices and offering modern, efficient spaces, it just creates a better environment for which to recruit and retain physicians."

Gustafson adds it makes sense to combine the two existing clinics from an efficiency standpoint...New Clinic02 ]

"Really in the past couple of years the clinics have started sharing a number of services such as the clinic nurse manager posiiton, a business office manager position, as well as business office responsibilities, and there are a lot of opportunities to decrease or eliminate redundacy of space such as having combined lobbies, procedure rooms, draw space, et cetra. So we're pretty excited about it."

Gustafson says the boards of trustees of Lakes Regional Healthcare and Avera still need to formally approve the project. She says that could happen in September or October. The project would then go out for bids, with construction hopefully starting in the spring of 2019. Gustafson says clinic operations would be moved to a temporary location while that's going on...New Clinic03 

"We're thinking of temporarily relocating Spirit Lake Medical Center to the second floor of our hospital, what we refer to internally as two west, it means the second floor, west side, and then having volunteers that will transport people, will direct people accordingly, but we're planning on that and then looking at spaces for Dickinson County Public Health and our SHIP offices, things like that so we are firming all that up right now as well. So a lot of moving parts right now."

Gustafson says construction of the new clinic would likely take a year and-a-half to complete.