Column: New health campus a step closer to realityLegislation allowing for the construction of a new long-term care facility in Red Wing has moved past the talking stages
By: Tim Kelly, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
Legislation allowing for the construction of a new long-term care facility, which would help to create a regional medical campus that could benefit many aging residents in our area, has moved past the talking stages and is now another step closer to being enacted.
On April 14, the Minnesota House agreed to lift the moratorium on new nursing home construction that has been law for the last 20 years. This will allow for the collaborative efforts of Fairview Red Wing Medical Center, Benedictine Health Systems and Goodhue County to work together in creating a medical care campus.
This is a common-sense approach to caring for our aging population.
These organizations should be commended for their ability to think outside the box and to bring the next generation of care to our community. I am convinced that this will be a model for all communities to emulate.
In fact, this idea is based on a pilot project that is now being constructed in Steele County.
For an aging resident, one of the most stressful events he or she will face is being forced to leave their home due to declining health.
This campus would keep all medical assistance that our elderly may need in one area.
If a person needs to go to the hospital, it would only be a minute away. If they need to move from assisted living into the nursing home, that move would take place on the same grounds.
This is a better approach of how we should take care of our elderly - by focusing on the individual and how to assist with their health and lifestyle needs.
Certainly the idea and success of this project belongs to all of the above organizations.
I felt honored to help bring this health campus proposal closer to fruition and it is an excellent example of why I wanted to become a state representative.
When you can take a local issue, work on it with lawmakers that can help it gain legislative momentum, and ultimately help advance the project at the state level, it is extremely rewarding.
The regional medical campus bill was actually amended onto a health and human services licensing bill during the April 14 House floor debate.
That proposal will now be sent to a joint House/Senate conference committee, where the two bodies will work out their differences and create a compromise proposal.
Often times, some provisions are lost in conference committee, but I’m confident the Goodhue County campus will make the final cut, as the Senate already has unanimously approved the plan as a stand alone bill.
Once the conference committee agreement is approved by both the House and Senate, it will be sent to Governor Pawlenty for his signature.
Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, can be reached at (651) 380-4345 or email@example.com.