Overview of services in Albert Lea and Austin
Making Decisions Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow
Like all health care providers around the country, we're working hard to navigate an evolving health care environment. One of the biggest challenges we face is a nationwide shortage of physicians and other providers. As competition increases for a dwindling number of providers and nurses, it can be difficult for rural communities to attract and retain the number of health care professionals needed to fully staff their hospitals. Add to that challenge the fact that there are many hospitals in neighboring communities, duplicating all the same services for a steadily decreasing number of patients and struggling to stay adequately staffed, and it's clear that a new approach to health care is needed.
We did not make the decision to integrate our services lightly, and we recognize that moving services to another campus can create a transportation challenge for some families. We're committed to working with our communities to find solutions; what we can't do is to refuse to adapt to the changing environment and endanger our ability to be here for future generations. While many health care organizations in similar situations have chosen or been forced to close, we decided to take action. Consolidating our inpatient services on one campus allows us to use our limited staffing resources to keep those units fully staffed, reducing the need to transfer patients to Rochester. We believe our patients and families want to keep their care as close to home as possible, and we are doing all we can to make that happen.