The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 9, 2013

Update: Mankato Clinic has big plans for little patients

MANKATO — The Mankato Clinic has announced some big plans for its littlest patients.

In late May or early June the clinic will break ground on a new $9 million facility on its Wickersham Health Campus that will focus on pediatric care. The 56,000-square-feet facility will be called Mankato Clinic’s Children’s Health Center.

The building also will house offices for Gillette’s Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Pediatric Therapy Services, a partnership the clinic says will offer services that have never been available locally.

Mankato Clinic CFO Steve Hatkin said that 2 1/2 years ago, the clinic embarked on a master facility planning project. One thing they identified, he said, was that the Main Street location was bursting at the seams and something needed to be done to alleviate the pressure.

He said they’d considered expanding at that site but realized a better option was expansion at the Wickersham Campus — acquired in the early 2000s — which has much more room to work with.

They also decided the biggest bang for their buck would come from moving pediatrics, an area the clinic says it has consistently been a regional leader in terms of patient numbers. They then began the planning for transitioning pediatric care to the new facility.

When it is complete, all pediatricians and some mental health professionals will be housed in the new facility.

Don Putzier, a 26-year pediatrician, said one of the key elements of the new facility is the partnership with Gillette’s, which he spearheaded.

“Several of us providers have thought it would be useful for our special needs patients to have better access to those services in Mankato,” Putzier said. He said having Gillette’s on site will give kids access to wheelchairs, orthotics and different kinds of leg braces they’d otherwise have to go to the Twin Cities for.

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