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Portions of $70 million worth of construction costs will be used for a new patient and family waiting area at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. A rendering provided by Mayo shows the proposed entrance, which would be on the west side of the hospital near entrance three.

MANKATO — Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato will move forward on $70 million worth of expansions to its hospital campus this year.

The investment will cover two projects, $65 million for a hospital surgical suite expansion and a new gastrointestinal endoscopy center on the hospital’s second floor, and $5 million for an expansion and renovation of the orthopedic and sports medicine clinic on the first floor.

Construction on the surgical suite portion of the project will begin by the end of this year in anticipation of a late 2018 completion. The orthopedic and sports medicine clinic should start earlier and be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

The expansions are part of the clinic’s continuing mission to become a medical hub in the region, said Dr. James Hebl, vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Minnesota.

“The intent of these projects is to invest in our patients, our staff and the needs of the community,” he said Thursday. “These projects are part of a comprehensive plan to transform Mayo Clinic Health System’s Mankato campus into a premier Mayo Clinic regional medical center.”

The hospital's surgical suite project will add 14 operating rooms — the hospital has nine currently — a sterile processing department, 43 private pre and postoperative patient rooms, an interventional pain medicine procedural room and the new gastrointestinal endoscopy center.

The pre and postoperative rooms will be used when patients come in for surgeries that don’t require overnight stays. Hebl said these patients are currently put in pods within one room separated by curtains — allowing little privacy.

“With this new project all postoperative patients will have their own dedicated room,” he said. “It’ll be a much improved upgrade of the current facility design.”

A new waiting area atrium for patients and families will also be constructed to span all floors of the hospital. This new waiting area will be on the west side of the building near entrance three.

The $5 million portion of the expansion will more than double the space of the campus’ orthopedic and sports medicine clinic. As many as 20 patient exam rooms, as well as procedure rooms and radiology services will be added.

The expansion to the orthopedic and sports medicine clinic comes as Mayo plans to add two more surgeons to the department this summer. The additions to both staff and services should allow patients to receive Mayo quality care close to home, Hebl said.

“We know the current space is a 1976 facility and by expanding and modernizing it will improve the experience for patients and their families,” he said.

He anticipates some inconvenience for patients during construction, but said the hospital hopes to limit it as much as possible.

“Construction will be obvious, but once again we’ve laid out several plans that will phase construction to minimize patient disruptions."

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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