Mayo Clinic and Albert Lea agree to structured dialogue

The city of Albert Lea, Minn., and the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic have agreed to have a mediated dialogue about Mayo's transition of services from its Albert Lea hospital to a neighboring Austin campus, according to the Austin Daily Herald.

The discussions between representatives of Albert Lea and Mayo will be facilitated by former state Rep. David Minge, DFL, and the two entities will split the costs evenly.

Mayo announced in June it would transition its birthing, ICU and inpatient services departments from Albert Lea to Austin. The move has been met with resistance from many in the Albert Lea community, but Mayo has remained committed to following through with the plan.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Minn., helped Mayo and Albert Lea agree to the dialogue, which he hopes will smooth the transition of services.

"This process offers a potential path forward in understanding the drivers behind Mayo Clinic's decision, the challenges facing rural healthcare and, most importantly, defining solutions to work together on the future of healthcare in this community," Mr. Walz said, according to the Austin Daily Herald.

There is no set date for the talks, though Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams said he hopes they will take place before the end of October.

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