9/5/2013 10:56:00 AM Dr. Molenaar has good first month at new Hwy. 20 clinic
by Ken Haggerty
Dr. Karl Molenaar says it's been a good first month at the new medical clinic he opened on the north side of Cannon Falls along Hwy. 20.
"I've lived here my entire life and it feels good to be able to give something back to the community," said the 59-year- old Molenaar.
Molenaar practiced in Cannon Falls from 1987 to 2010, when he left the Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls. His father, Dr. Robert Molenaar, practiced in Cannon Falls from 1952 to 1996.
Karl Molenaar is a certified family medicine practitioner and is joined in the new clinic, which is affiliated with the Olmsted Medical Center and Hospital out of Rochester, by another Cannon Falls native, Dr. Peggy Lorentz, a certified ob/gyn practitioner.
Other primary caregivers include Dr. Dave Detert of Northfield, a certified family medical practitioner, and Christine (Mulvihill) Werner of Randolph, a certified nurse practitioner and nursing supervisor at the clinic.
The clinic, which has nine exam rooms, two procedure rooms, a lab and x-ray room, will also employ three front desk staff, two LPNs and two lab/x-ray technicians.
Molenaar said that while the clinic is part of the Olmsted Medical Center group, they fully support the community's efforts to build a new hospital in Cannon Falls. "It's fabulous that Mayo is building a new facility; not every community has a hospital," said Molenaar. "We plan on supporting that facility by seeing patients and using their facility when it fits. In the weeks that we've been open, we've already referred patients to their CT scanner and had patients admitted there."
Molenaar and Lorentz note that the local Mayo hospital, like most hospitals, uses a "hospitalist" system. "Primary care doctors are stretched so many different ways that most hospitals have gone to specialized "hospitalist" physicians for care when you are staying at the hospital," said Lorentz. Lorentz said they work as part of a team with your primary care doctor, nurses, maybe a social worker or pharmacy tech. When your stay is complete, your care can transfer back to your primary physician, said Lorentz.
Molenaar said there has been some early confusion by people who think if they are seen at the Olmsted Medical clinic in Cannon Falls and if it is determined they need to be hospitalized or see a specialist, that they have to go to the Olmsted Hospital in Rochester. "That's simply not true," said Molenaar. "If the local Mayo hospital can handle the needs of a patient, room is available, and that's where the patient wants to go, then we'll use the local hospital and support the local hospital," said Molenaar.
Lorentz said it is important to keep in mind that they do have the resource of the Olmsted Hospital in Rochester, which she said is "an excellent hospital and excellent facility with personalized care." She said Olmsted is the number one referrer to Mayo and they have worked cooperatively with Mayo for over 60 years.
Lorentz noted that insurance coverage is not tied to one group. "A person may have primary care with us, a cardiologist at Mayo and a dermatologist with Allina," said Lorentz.
"Olmsted Medical wants its branch clinics to operate with autonomy," said Molenaar.
"They realize small town clinics operate differently than those in a big urban setting," said Lorentz.
Molenaar said visitors have been impressed with the top notch equipment his clinic has including x-ray equipment and lab equipment allowing many tests to be done in house. He said staff can handle many ER services like lacerations, fractures and dehydration right in the clinic.
Werner said having Lorentz available for local ob/gyn care is something the area has needed for a long time.