Moose Lake hospital lines up with Essentia


November 1, 2019

In August, the Mercy Hospital board of directors voted unanimously to request proposals to partner with a larger health care system.

On Tuesday, leaders from Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake and Essentia Health announced plans for a formal partnership.

Mercy’s board of directors voted on the affiliation at a meeting Monday night. According to a press release, board members chose Essentia for its aligned mission and values and Essentia’s plan to grow primary- and specialty-care services in Moose Lake, along with hospital and emergency care.

“A partnership with Essentia is a great fit for our hospital and the communities we serve,” said Mercy CEO Mike Youso. “Essentia is committing to provide more services, close to home for our patients, and to explore new opportunities like telehealth.”

When a higher level of specialty care is needed, patients will benefit from coordinated care and a single electronic health record that travels with the patient within Essentia. “This is especially convenient for the number of Moose Lake area residents already receiving care at Essentia,” Youso said.

The Moose Lake hospital completed a $38 million expansion and renovation in 2015 that included a new emergency department, nursing unit with private rooms, birthing center, lab and imaging departments.

Youso also pointed out that a partnership with Essentia would mean an end to the tax levy currently supporting the hospital. In August, the board again approved a $500,000 levy on hospital district taxpayers.

“We believe this affiliation is a win for Mercy, helping the hospital prosper at a time of increasing challenges in health care, and a win for Essentia, allowing us to meet our mission of making a healthy difference in people’s lives,” said Dr. Jon Pryor, president of Essentia’s regional operations.

Essentia Health plans to build a clinic in Cloquet next year.


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