By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer
JANESVILLE — The New Ulm Medical Center’s ongoing transition from a community hospital to a regional care facility will culminate with a $5.3 million clinic expansion.
The facility will add 12,000 square feet of space, 50 percent more than what is now available.
Medical Center President Toby Freier said the expansion is in response to growing patient numbers in recent years. He said the growth coincided with needed additions to medical staff.
“We were at such a shortage several years ago and we wanted to put together an aggressive recruitment plan to alleviate that.”
He said that initiative resulted in the hiring of an additional 10 mid-level practitioners, including several physicians from the region who brought their practices with them.
As a result, the facility has added to the number of patients coming from up to 50 miles away.
Freier said NUMC’s expansion thrust has also resulted in the addition of a clinic in Winthrop and in building more relationships with area nursing homes.
The new clinic expansion in New Ulm will include 28 exam rooms and support space, a drive-up pharmacy window and a store selling canes, crutches and other medical equipment.
Allina Health, which owns NUMC, is covering the entire cost of the expansion. For past expansion projects Allina has conducted community fundraising campaigns to help with funding.
The expansion is expected to be completed by late December.