Essentia Health plans $800M expansion

Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health will invest $800 million to build a consolidated medical campus in Duluth, which will include a replacement hospital and outpatient surgery center, according to the Star Tribune.

As part of the project, called Vision Northland, Essentia Health also will build a new clinic building. All together, the new buildings will add 800,000 square feet of medical care space.

"Our facilities that we're currently using were built many years ago," Essentia Health CEO David Herman, MD, told the Star Tribune. "We're making our facilities work right now. But as we look forward ... our facilities likely will not be able to support the future practice of medicine much longer."

The replacement for Duluth-based St. Mary's Medical Center will be built within Essentia Health's existing campus. It will feature sweeping views of Lake Superior and more private rooms. Additional details were not disclosed because the health system is still working to finalize the design. 

Essentia Health plans to spend $675 million on the new facilities, plus an additional $125 million for renovations of existing buildings on the medical campus.

Health system officials first announced plans in December 2017 to transform its campus in Duluth. On May 24, Essentia Health board members approved the $800 million expansion.

Construction on the new campus is slated for completion in 2022.

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