CANNON FALLS, Minn. — “I’m in awe,” says Jerry Williams of Mayo Clinic Health System’s new clinic and hospital. Williams was one of approximately 2,000 who toured the new medical center during a public grand opening event on Friday, July 25. Located at 32021 County 24 Boulevard, the new clinic opens on Aug. 4 and the hospital and emergency department open on Aug. 7.
Williams came to the event from Northfield, but he grew up in Cannon Falls. His father, Marland Williams, M.D., practiced in Cannon Falls when the first hospital on West Mill Street was built in the 1950s.
“My father would just find it unbelievable,” says Williams.
Other attendees shared similar comments about the 92,000 square foot facility during the event which included a ribbon cutting ceremony, guided tours, free food and refreshments, live music by the Ray Sands Band and the Polka Dots, face painting, bounce houses and Mayo One.
“We’re thrilled with the turnout. It was actually double than what we expected. We’re also thankful to the community of Cannon Falls for its support,” says Tom Witt, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing. “We couldn’t have done it without the community partnership.”
The new medical center has three floors. The clinic includes 24 exam rooms. There are 15 hospital suites, and five Emergency Department treatment rooms. Mayo Clinic Health System staff will also implement new workflows.
“Our new space will offer a much better overall patient experience, including less travel, better communication, and the type of environment that will promote health, hope and healing,” Dr. Witt shared during the ribbon cutting.
Other ribbon cutting speakers included John Noseworthy, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic, Kathy Brekken, community board member on Mayo Clinic Health System’s Board of Directors in Cannon Falls and chair of the community capital campaign, and Richard Samuelson, Goodhue Country Commissioner.
The ribbon cutting took place at 2:30 p.m. and tours went from 3-7 p.m. Most attendees parked at the Cannon Falls High School and took one of three shuttle buses to the new facility.
Mayo Clinic Health System broke ground on the new medical center in March, 2013. The new facility will replace the current 1958 building on West Mill Street which will be redeveloped. Mayo Clinic Health System has been in discussions with the Cannon Falls Economic Development Association (EDA) to help identify what the community needs might be. While the redevelopment plan is evolving, it does include demolition of the existing medical center building and removal of an existing parking lot sometime in 2015 to create a land area for a new neighborhood park and six new dwelling units. Once finalized, the redevelopment plan will require City Council approval. If approved, it would likely happen in phases over the next three to four years.