Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith met with Mayo Clinic officials and community leaders in Albert Lea Thursday, as the controversy continues over Mayo’s plan to move most inpatient services from the Albert Lea hospital to Austin. Smith says with state money supporting the Destination Medical Center project in Rochester, Mayo needs to appreciate there’s much more attention focused on their community relationships. She says, “They [Mayo] need to do a much better job of consulting with communities before they make big decisions that affect the economy and the heart and soul of communities like Albert Lea.” Smith says Mayo should not rush into implementation in October as planned and “try to find a solution that works for Albert Lea.”
Mayo officials said earlier they did a thorough evaluation with input from many stakeholders before making a decision to consolidate services in Austin. Attorney General Lori Swanson is looking into whether the decision violates any laws. A Mayo spokesperson says they’re confident they have complied with all requirements of their bylaws and the law.