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Video: Two Harbors celebrates Lake View hospital and clinic expansion

Sep 16, 2020 06:38AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

St. Luke's Lake View in Two Harbors cut the ribbon on a $15 million expansion. All photos: Carl Sauer/WDIO

By Baihly Warfield of WDIO-TV - September 15, 2020

The cranes dotting Duluth's skyline aren't the only evidence of an expanding healthcare industry in northeastern Minnesota. 

Tuesday, Lake View in Two Harbors celebrated a $15 million expansion that connects the hospital to the clinic and pharmacy. 

"I think we're at a turning point in healthcare in the industry, and we need to be focusing on the patient experience, lowering our cost of care, making that care more efficient. And so we're working on all of those things as part of this project," Lake View President and CEO Greg Ruberg said. 

The expansion features a new lobby with private registration and an integrated lab. Ruberg said before, St. Luke's staff would have to carry coolers of lab samples back and forth multiple times a day. Now, the hospital and clinic will work together in the lab. 

"We built a brand new pharmacy on the inpatient side, and that was designed to support infusion therapy, which will be coming this fall and winter," Ruberg said. "So things like rheumatology treatment and chemotherapy and other more higher tech services than we've been able to provide in that area before." 

Ruberg said patients have asked for services so they don't have to drive out of their community to be treated. Janelle Jones, president and CEO of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, said good medical care is an incentive for retirees to stay or move to the area. 

"The relationship between a rural hospital and the communities in Lake County goes beyond healthcare and taking care of the sick," Jones said. "Rural hospitals are usually one of the largest employers in a region." 

Plus, she said it's a key piece to a healthy tourism economy. 

"We have tens of thousands of people that visit Lake County every single day, actually. And their vacations don't always go as planned, and this is where they tend to end up," Jones said. 

Clinic staff are also excited about new community gathering spaces that can hold up to 90 people once COVID-19 health guidelines lighten. Ruberg hopes it will allow them to offer education and wellness activities. 

"I think back to 15 months ago, we were standing ... with a shovel in our hand and it seemed maybe a little bit overwhelming at that point of all the things that would have to happen. And before you know it, we're here today with ribbon cutting," he said. 

St. Luke's says there is still room to expand the surgical department and urgent care in the future. 

To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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