"Refreshing" commitment from Freeborn County, the county agreed - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

"Refreshing" commitment from Freeborn County, the county agreed to hire a healthcare consultant to look at the viability of an acute care hospital in Albert Lea

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -

A Freeborn County meeting early Tuesday proves fruitful for the group Save Our Hospital and other advocates of keeping certain services in Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea.

 The group asked the county for up to $35,000 dollars to hire a health care consultant, who would look at the viability of having an acute care hospital in Albert Lea, and whether or not it would be profitable.

"We're looking forward to going down this path together as a united team, between the city, the county and the citizens of Save Our Hospital," said Co-Chair of Save Our Hospital Mariah Lynne.

This was the recommendation by State Attorney General Lori Swanson. Mayo Clinic will be consolidating ICU and neonatal services from Albert Lea to Austin.
Fifty-five thousand people are affected by Mayo's decision.

"This is really, truly, the first time we've seen something like this happen in a community of 18,000 people that services 55,000 patients," said Lynne. "It's unprecedented." 

"That can be a major detriment, especially when it comes down to jobs, and whether or not we're going to be able to sustain the level of jobs that we have today. Mayo Clinic Health System, our campus here, is the largest employer in our city," she adds.

Lynne says other communities are on high alert; wondering if the same will happen to them - especially if they're under the Mayo Health System. She says looking at other hospitals in areas with the same footprint as Albert Lea's, an acute care hospital should be profitable.

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