Mayo Health announces it will close its Waukon clinic December 14 of this year

Veterans Memorial Hospital issues statement

Mayo Clinic Health System has announced that it will close the doors on its Waukon clinic location as of December 14 of this year. That announcement was made public Friday evening, October 25.
In a letter received by Waukon Mayor Pat Stone, Mayo officials cited the closing of the clinic is in light of the obstacles faced in rural healthcare settings nationwide, noting: “This decision reflects the changing landscape and challenges facing rural health care nationwide. We considered numerous options and alternatives to serving the community; however, none were sustainable in the long term.”

The letter specifies that the decision to close the Waukon clinic revolves around the difficulties of recruiting physicians to work in rural healthcare settings, furthering: “This decision centers on the difficulty surrounding physician recruitment. We have been actively recruiting physicians to this practice for many years. However, attracting physicians to small rural clinics has become increasingly difficult as more physicians seek employment opportunities that offer greater work-life balance. For most, that means choosing positions that do not require being on-call a majority of the time, as is common in rural practices.

This trend is not unique to Mayo Clinic Health System. Nationally, rural health care provider recruitment is facing a crisis that will require creative solutions to solve for the long term.”

Mayo says it will counsel the dozens of employees working at the Waukon clinic in regard to other potential job opportunities within Mayo Clinic Health System, along with other career opportunity support. The network of clinics and hospitals that has been serving more than 60 communities in the tri-state area also says it will help facilitate the transition of its patients to new providers, citing additional Mayo Clinic locations in Prairie du Chien, WI and Caledonia, MN.

The letter further states: “Mayo Clinic Health System has been part of the Waukon community for many years, and we are working with community leaders on this transition. We are also engaging Veterans Memorial Hospital to explore potential future care options. Please know that we are very willing to continue to have discussions with you to identify innovative ways to meet patient needs close to where they live.”

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon issued the following statement in regard to the closing of Mayo’s Waukon clinic:

As many of you are aware, Mayo Health Systems informed their Waukon Clinic employees and Veterans Memorial Hospital administration of their intent to close the Waukon Clinic effective December 14 of this year.  We wish to thank the Mayo staff for their partnership that has been a part of the health care team that has served the people of this region. Our thoughts go out to all of them.

The Board and Administration of VMH are in the process of evaluating the impact of the closure on the patients we serve as well as the hospital. First and foremost, we wish to assure the community that there will be no changes in our present services as a result of Mayo closing the clinic. We will continue to monitor expenses, monitor revenue and provide care to the people we serve.

Administration is still learning about and gathering information surrounding this change. It will take time to assess and implement options open to us. It is the intent of the Board of Trustees and Administration to keep you informed of progress as we go forward.

The closing of the Waukon clinic follows a recent trend of other closures and discontinuation of services by Mayo Clinic Health System. Announcement was made August 25 of this year that Mayo will be closing its La Crescent, MN location November 22. Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, WI has also recently closed its behavioral health residences and eliminated positions including neonatal nurse practitioners, nursing supervisors, administrator of operations and vice chair of administration, due to restructuring, according to previous media reports.
 

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