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home : news : news November 20, 2014

11/8/2012 10:44:00 AM
Hospital fundraising over halfway to $6.5 million goal

by Ken Haggerty

A community capital campaign with a goal to raise $6.5 million to contribute to the cost of a new $30 million Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls (MCHS in Cannon Falls) hospital and clinic has passed the halfway mark and is moving to its next phase: reaching out to the general public, local businesses and hospital employees for donations, gifts and pledges.

Over $3.6 million has already been raised locally in the "quiet portion" of fundraising, Dean Lindeman told a group of thirty people who gathered for a public meeting on the project at First English Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls on November 1. Lindeman is working for MCHS as the local development officer. The "quiet portion" phase reached out to individuals on a one-on-one or small group basis, said Lindeman.

The non-profit Mayo Clinic plans to invest $20 million to the project with $10 million to come from local sources. The Cannon Falls Hospital District Tax (collected from residents of the City of Cannon Falls and the Townships of Cannon Falls, Stanton and Leon) contribution is $2,000,000, collected over the past seven years. That Levy ends this year. The Cannon Falls Hospital had assets of $1,500,000 at the time it affiliated with Mayo in 2006 that are being applied to the new building. The remaining $6.5 million is being sought from community contributions.

Lindeman said they hope to have the fundraising completed by late December or early January, before a February meeting of the Mayo Board of Trustees. Tentative scheduleis to break ground in April of 2013 and have the facility ready to occupy in the Fall of 2014, said Bill Priest, chief administrative officer of MCHS in Cannon Falls.

Kathy Brekken, past co-owner, CEO and president of Midwest of Cannon Falls, is leading the community capital campaign. Also working on the campaign are Ted Bailey, retired; Dennis Brekken, retired; Paul Bringgold, retired former owner of 1st National Bank; Greg Evans, Merchants Bank; Jeromy Mouw, Edward Jones; Mark Sjoquist, Vasa Spring Garden Mutual Insurance Co.; Carol Leffingwell, Old Market Deli and Fourth & Main Fabrics; and Greg Wulf, First Farmers&Merchants Bank and White Rock Bank.

The current hospital, located just to the north and east of the intersection of Hwys. 52 and 19, was built in 1958. The adjoining clinic was built in 1983. Those buildings, a modular building in the alley and three houses owned by Mayo in the neighborhood are a combined 35,000 square feet.

The new 88,000 square foot hospital/clinic is planned on part of a 51 acre site owned by the CF Hospital District and Mayo on the south end of Cannon Falls to the east of Hwy. 52 (on the hill to the south of the Grandpa's Garage building).

A model, drawings and floor plans of the new building were on display at the First English meeting. The main floor would include an open entrance area, twenty-four examination rooms for clinic patients (compared to the current 22), expanded emergency room space, a large outpatient rehabilitation area, expanded lab and space for imaging labs such as x-ray, mammography, CT, and bone density. Other new or improved features from the current facility on the main floor are an enclosed ambulance bay, a meditation room, and an emergency room waiting area.

The second level plans call for fifteen 270 square foot hospital rooms large enough for visitors and medical staff to move around freely, compared to the current hospital rooms that are about 110 to 170 square feet. The rooms should all have nice views and plenty of natural light, said Priest. The rooms will also each have their own bathrooms and will be large enough to safely accommodate wheelchairs, said Priest. Currently, many of the hospital rooms share bathrooms and many of those are undersized.

In addition to care of local residents, the Cannon Falls hospital location will be an outlet for post-acute care patients exiting Mayo's Rochester facilities.

The second level will be where a new 600 square foot surgery suite (double the size of the current suite) will be located. Space for endoscopy and IV infusion is also planned on that level. A separate rehabilitation area for hospital patients is on that level, as well.

On the lower level "walkout," Priest highlighted a high ceiling, glass-walled cafeteria area with a stone fireplace; the inclusion of sleeping rooms for employees who are on-call; employee meeting rooms; and an IT training area. Space on that level also includes area for efficient materials management and administrative offices.

The 51-acre site accommodates future growth and new services. It is located next to the new highway interchange (also planned for 2013-14 construction), with convenient parking and helicopter access on-site.

The hospital/clinic currently employs about 170 people with a full-time equivalent of 138 employees. Priest said the new facility would probably need one more primary care provider at opening (currently at 11 in the current facility) plus some additional support staff.

Lindeman said the community is fortunate Mayo has indicated it plans to invest $20,000,000 and that the community has a "responsibility to respond to the call for action." He asked people to "stop and think what this facility means to you, your family, your friends and the community as a whole."

Financial pledges payable over five years are being sought, said Lindeman. The campaign is also looking for volunteers willing to call ten of their friends or family and ask for support. Lindeman can be contacted at 263-1362.



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