New clinic location

The Northfield City Council approved a lease for space at 1980 30 St. NW in Faribault. After renovation, it will be home to an orthopedic and ear, nose and throat clinic now located just south of the new site. (Suzanne Rook/Faribault Daily News)

The Northfield City Council on May 7 unanimously gave the green light to open a more-than 5,600-square-foot orthopedic and ear, nose and throat clinic in Faribault.

Councilors approved a lease by Northfield Hospital & Clinics from Northgate Development Co. LLC at 1980 30th St. NW in Faribault, northeast of Faribault Golf & Country Club.

The 5,610-square-foot space would be where the city-owned Northfield Hospital and Clinics relocates the clinic, which will include an imaging room along with equipment, furniture and equipment and additional sinks. Approval came after the Northfield Hospital Board of Directors unanimously recommended approval of the plan April 25.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics began operating the orthodontics practice this year in two suites at 1645 Lyndale Ave. and is expecting continued program growth.

The hospital system has stated there is a lack of patient waiting space at the current clinic as well as insufficient imaging space and equipment. The support staff is separated from clinic space, and there are privacy issues and a lack of exam rooms to grow the practice.

Hospital officials view advantages of the proposed new space to be its location, parking, flexibility, growth opportunity, price and it supporting the hospital’s strategic plan.

Hospital officials hope to move to the new building either in August or September after imaging equipment installation and remodeling takes place.

Councilor Suzie Nakasian said she supported the motion because the new location would be cost-effective for the public by allowing them to receive health care services without coming to Northfield and increase the number of patients at Northfield Hospital & Clinics. She said the move is part of a nationwide strategy in which more procedures are being done in smaller clinics where costs are lower than in larger hospitals.

“They found a good building,” Nakasian said. “I thought it was a very wise decision.”

To her, the move is important because the clinic is a revenue-maker for the hospital and is cost-effective, serving the needs of the city and a wider region.

In an email Thursday, Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell said the city is “fortunate to have a financially strong, municipally owned hospital with a great orthopedics practice. Making sure that we have adequate space for our providers but also are customers and patients is essential. I really appreciate the way that our Hospital Board and administration are thinking about how we can better serve those that rely on our hospital services.”

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115.

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