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Mayo birthing center leaves Albert Lea for new facility in Austin

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) – There’s a big change at Albert Lea and Austin’s Mayo Clinic Health System branches this week.

Beginning tomorrow afternoon, all labor and delivery services will happen only in Austin, as the health system moves those services out of Albert Lea.

Mayo says that while the move is emotional, it believes the new family birth center will be a state of the art facility. The move was originally scheduled for 2020 but moved up due to staffing shortages.

“It’s emotional for everybody. There’s that feeling of loss and we understand and appreciate that but we do look forward to the future,” said operations administrator Tricia Dahl. “We think what we’re going to have to offer will be something very positive for our patients.”

Mayo says it has been working with mothers who anticipated delivering in Albert Lea for the past couple months on a weekly basis, to help the transition go smoothly.

Dahl says the move has affected the families in different ways.

“It’s mixed. There’s some that have come from an area where they were already having to drive and don’t think much of it and then there’s some that are very sad, Dahl said. “Lot of reassurance and I think a benefit is that we’ve been able to do that one-on-one with the families.”

The Albert Lea ER has also been trained for child deliveries in the event of a emergency.

The construction in Austin on the new center continues with the first five rooms expected to be done by next summer. The final completion date for the project is early 2021.

 

Alex Tejada

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