Fairview Northland speciality clinic to expand

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People will never need to go beyond Princeton for their medical needs if Fairview Northland Medical Center President and CEO John Herman has his way.

Herman will lead the medical center through an expansion project in 2014 that will greatly broaden the scope of specialty services offered northwest of Fairview’s Twin Cities suburban medical centers.

“Our goal is to bring as many health care services to Princeton as possible so people can stay at home,” Herman said. By that, Herman means, at Fairview Northland Medical Center. Currently, many people have to go to other Fairview clinics to see specialists.

Fairview Northland will add an expanded speciality clinic building next year. As of right now, plans call for the new two-story, 30,000-square-foot building to be right of the medical center’s front entrance.

“We envision primary care to the left, specialties to the right and the hospital straight forward when you come through the main entrance,” Herman said.

The medical center has a need for a new specialty clinic as patient needs grow. Presently, doctors providing specialty care work out of a small area of the clinic located across the hall from the X-ray center.

As demand grows, so grows the demand for additional space, Herman said.

“We want to add more specials and specialists, but we’re already cramped for space,” he said.

Fairview Northland has relationships with care providers in its own network, as well as the University of Minnesota, CentraCare of St. Cloud and independents.

Many providers in those networks have looked to have ramped-up services in the area.

“We’re looking at their commitment to want to be here and will help them with that goal,” Herman said.

Fairview Northland Regional Hospital opened in Princeton 20 years ago this fall. At the time, the hospital was seen as a regional medical center, serving patients of Fairview’s primary clinics in Princeton, Milaca, Zimmerman and St. Francis, Herman said.

“Today we provide care to people in seven counties, but primarily Mille Lacs, Sherburne, Kanabec and Benton,” Herman said.

The next logical step is for Fairview Northland to become a regional speciality center – and the expansion project allows Fairview Northland to achieve that goal, Herman said.

Presently, the Fairview Northland administrative team is talking with about 20 specialty care providers and medical groups in an effort to determine interest, space needs and the compatibility of providers as they determine who best can be next to each other and who can share exam rooms. Providers such as dentists, chiropractors and optometrists could also have a presence on the new campus, Herman said.

Fairview Northland is also working to get architectural firms, developers and contractors lined up, Herman said. Plans will be further developed by midsummer, he said.

“We’ll break ground early next year, and eight months later we’ll open the doors,” Herman said.

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