CANNON FALLS, Minn. — When Mary Johnson, a registered nurse, moved to Cannon Falls, the medical center had only two physicians. Forty-two years later, the staff of Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls has grown considerably, but the family feels that what Johnson loves has not changed. “I had worked in intensive care in Mankato and the Twin Cities, but I’m from small-town Iowa,” says Johnson. “Working at the hospital here was like working with your brothers and sisters. I saw an incredible variety of patients.”
When Johnson was pregnant with her second child, she realized that Cannon Falls residents had to travel to Red Wing for childbirth education. She worked with her nursing colleagues to develop and teach classes in Cannon Falls. She raised both of her children in town after moving for her husband’s position. Dave Johnson worked as band director of Cannon Falls Middle School. “The best part about being here was knowing the doctors I took my kids to,” says Johnson. “If we came into the emergency department, I knew the providers and they knew me. Together, we have a vested interest to take care of each other in a small hospital.”
The family experience of working and receiving care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls made participating in the campaign for a new medical center a no-brainer for Johnson. “Many of us donated directly from our monthly paychecks,” says Johnson. “We believe in our community hospital so much.”
Community donations along with Mayo Clinic’s investment will fund the new medical center located on the south side of Cannon Falls off Highway 52. Mayo Clinic Health System will break ground this month after years of planning and extensive support from the local community.
Patients and visitors can expect an improved overall experience beyond the continued presence of dependable, high-quality health care. The new facility will have up to 90,000 square feet or nearly three times more space than the current building, allowing Mayo Clinic Health System to expand its emergency medicine care and many other services, improve privacy, and add new technology.
“We are running out of room,” says Johnson. “This new facility will give us larger rooms and help with patient mobility and privacy. Simple things like making bathrooms large enough for patients with wheelchairs and additional safety measures make this project really important for our town.”
The building project has a tentative completion date of fall 2014.
“Even the location of the new facility will help with visibility from Highway 52. A brand-new building will help attract new families and patients,” says Johnson. “Our affiliation with Mayo has brought highly standardized care to our hospital. Now it’s helping bring the new facility we need.”