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Hospital, clinic explore merger

No formal action has been taken, but there is potential for a merger between Douglas County Hospital and Alexandria Clinic.

According to Douglas County Hospital CEO Carl Vaagenes, "Our negotiations have been positive, productive and we are working from a common set of goals and values."

In 2009, informal discussion of a merger initially started among Douglas County Hospital, Alexandria Clinic, Heartland Orthopedics and Broadway Medical Center.

"Those earlier discussions eventually led to the integration of Heartland Orthopedic Specialists with Douglas County Hospital effective July 1, 2011," Vaagenes noted.

Last May, Broadway Medical Center stepped away from the local merger concept and turned toward a partnership with Sanford Health, which became official in January.

In the meantime, Douglas County Hospital is still actively discussing the possible integration with Alexandria Clinic.

Vaagenes said, "A locally owned, integrated system results in improved efficiency, the potential to eliminate any redundant testing or care by having integrated medical records between the clinic and hospital, and it creates a more seamless experience of care for patients and their families. We are excited about the opportunity this merger brings to both keep care decisions local and improve the experience our patients receive."

Follow #AlexMN @EchoPress Reporter and Osakis Review Managing Editor Amy Chaffins on Twitter at @TheOsakisReview.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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