Not since the last private-practice physician retired more than 30 years ago has there been a choice in healthcare providers in Owatonna.
That will all change late next year, when Olmsted Medical Center is expected to open a clinic in Owatonna.
“We believe that our commitment to providing a community-focused healthcare option allows us to offer care to residents in Owatonna,” said Rob Cunningham, chief operating officer at OMC.
“We will deliver the same patient-centered care that OMC patients elsewhere have come to expect from us,” he said, adding that the clinic already sees many patients who drive from Steele County for healthcare at OMC.
“This new clinic would allow those patients to receive some of their healthcare closer to home,” Cunningham said.
Residents of Owatonna will continue to have access to all of OMC’s specialty care services in Rochester; however, in addition to primary care services, OMC will introduce some specialty care services on a regular basis to meet more patient needs closer to home in Owatonna.
That includes a multi-service line clinic and ambulatory surgical center.
Still, said Nikki Mensing, director of primary care at OMC, “we want residents of Owatonna who have a longstanding, trusting relationship with another provider or hospital to feel comfortable continuing with that provider. We simply want to provide an additional option for the region to receive primary care, some specialty care, and select surgical and endoscopic procedures locally.”
She’s referring to what is known colloquially as the “Owatonna Clinic,” which was founded by Drs. Albert Olson and Frank Anderson in 1948. It was incorporated as Mayo Clinic Health System in Owatonna in 1970 and joined Mayo Clinic Health System in 1997.
The clinic operated out of a building on Southview Street until moving all services to the 26th Street Northwest location in 2008.
The first public mention of the OMC proposal seems to be in April, during an Owatonna Planning Commission meeting. That’s when Redline Development Group asked for approval of a preliminary plat at 208 N. Oak Ave. as part of ASCEND, the city’s first mixed-use complex.
According to the minutes from that meeting, “the current prospective tenants (of the new building) are Olmsted Medical Center and Mineral Springs Brewery, who will have an upper and lower level patio.”
OMC is expected to occupy space on the ground floor of the facility.
“The City of Owatonna’s strategic plan encourages downtown development and redevelopment,” Community Development Director Troy Klecker said in a statement late last week.
“By collaborating with the private developer for the riverfront project, we have been able to create a project that attracted Olmsted Medical Center to inquire about expanding here,” he continued. “This riverfront project is Owatonna’s first mixed-use development. It’s exciting to see essential services such as a healthcare provider interested in investing in our downtown area.”
For its part, OMC clearly sees the move as important to its mission.
“We look forward to building new relationships and adding to the healthcare options that patients can choose from in the Owatonna area,” said Dr. Mark Wilbur, division chair of primary and specialty care services.
Quick view of Olmsted Medical Center
• Healthcare provider in southeast Minnesota since 1949
• 1,300 healthcare professionals serving at 20 locations
• 330,000 patients each year
• 4,800 major surgical operations performed
• 1,000 babies delivered
• Governed by Board of Trustees