AUSTIN, Minn. — Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea and Austin is pleased to announce its plan to create a third-floor Family Birth Center and a two-story connecting link between the main clinic entrance and the hospital on its Austin campus. The $11.2 million dollar investment is part of Mayo Clinic’s continuing commitment to ensuring the highest-quality care and top-tier medical facilities remain available to residents of Austin, Albert Lea and the surrounding area. Construction will take place throughout 2019 and 2020.
“This is an exciting, beautiful modernization and expansion project that will serve our patients, staff and communities for years to come,” says Mark Ciota M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin. “This expansion is the culmination of more than two years of analysis and planning to ensure the viability of our campuses and make the best use of our facilities and staff resources to serve our patients.”
While the details continue to be finalized in the planning and design phases, here are a few highlights:
Family Birth Center
- This will be built in the third-floor space currently occupied by the Women’s Special Care Unit and step-down/telemetry unit. It will also include additional construction for a large, comfortable family waiting area.
- The Family Birth Center will have 10 large rooms with private bathrooms to accommodate moms, babies and family members throughout the labor, delivery and recovery process.
- The Family Birth Center will also include space for triage, a C-section suite and newborn nursery.
“The rooms in the Family Birth Center will be 58 percent larger than our current rooms, providing the space necessary to meet the needs of our patients, families and staff,” says Sumit Bhagra M.D, medical director for Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea and Austin. “Mothers and their families will enjoy the comfort and enhanced amenities in these spacious rooms, which will also each have a private bathroom with tub and shower. The rooms will also accommodate the latest equipment and technology for our staff to deliver safe and efficient care and an improved birth experience.”
Plans are also moving forward for the modernization of the Medical/Surgical/Pediatrics inpatient unit on the second floor of the medical center. The unit will expand to encompass the space occupied by the current inpatient Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU), which is relocating to newly remodeled space on the Albert Lea campus later this year. Dr. Bhagra says more detailed information about the expansion will be available in early 2019.
The construction of these two large, integrated units will allow Mayo Clinic Health System to complete the transition of inpatient services by 2020 as planned.
Perhaps the most striking component of the Austin facility expansion is the addition of an extended ‘link’ that will connect the main entrance of the medical center directly to the newly expanded units.
According to Dr. Ciota, patients and visitors currently must walk through the medical center to get to the hospital elevators. The extended link, which will be built along the north face of the building and add nearly 5,000 sq. ft. of usable space with access to the existing elevators in the front entrance, will give patients and visitors easy access to the Family Birth Center and the Medical/Surgical/Pediatrics unit. The link will have a long wall of windows to flood the family waiting areas and patient care units with natural light.
“We are excited about the vibrant and healing space we’ll have for our patients and families,” Dr. Ciota said. “We look forward to involving the community as we move into the design phase for these units.”
Press ContactRick Thiesse