"OMC patients who visit the new Spring Valley clinic will enjoy a larger, brighter, more open space, wider hallways, larger exam rooms, expanded on-site radiology services, and additional privacy safeguards - employee areas that were located away from patient areas to better protect patient privacy," said Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) communications and web coordinator Jeremy Salucka, speaking of the new clinic building Spring Valley OMC medical staff and patients will soon enjoy.

"The new clinic will also offer three exam rooms and one conference room equipped for tele-health services, which allows patients to come to the Spring Valley clinic for remote appointments and consultations with OMC's caregivers in Rochester," said Salucka.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week and construction is expected to begin next Monday, pending approval of building permits, on the new clinic, which will be located at the Spring Valley Senior Living (SVSL) complex. SVSL will also build a 10-unit post-acute-care wing that will provide intensive care and rehabilitation. The projects are expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The Spring Valley clinic is OMC's oldest branch clinic building, and the clinic's space has become insufficient and inefficient, explained Salucka. OMC purchased the current clinic space from Dr. Roland Matson more than 20 years ago.

"We needed a more appropriate place to provide the healthcare services our patients expect and deserve," said Salucka. "When the opportunity came to partner with Spring Valley Senior Living Center, we knew it was an opportunity we had to take. The Spring Valley Senior Living Center required additional space, just as OMC did. The new facility will help both organizations meet patient needs, increase employee satisfaction, and allow for even better patient privacy."

OMC has been planning the project since late 2012, and the OMC design team gathered staff input when drawing up plans for the new clinic building, including from nurses and doctors who share the clinic's halls. Pat Bisbee, RN, nurse supervisor at the Spring Valley clinic, has been involved with the relocation and construction project from the start.

"She's been great about sharing information about the new facility with her staff. Staff has also been actively involved in planning and decision making, specific to their work areas, during the design phase of the project. Dr. (Steven) Harder and his colleagues have also been actively involved in the design process. As always, we took into account regulatory requirements in designing the new clinic," Said Salucka. "Regulatory requirements for an outpatient clinic facility are different than those for a long-term care facility, and current Spring Valley clinic employees have been very involved in the project to make sure any required changes are made."

If everything stays on schedule, the new clinic will open to patients in December. The current clinic will remain open to patients until that time. Assuming construction proceeds on schedule, OMC will begin moving its employees and equipment into the new facility in late November or early December. The Spring Valley clinic may need to close for a few days to allow movement of medical equipment, but OMC will keep any facility downtime to a minimum, added Salucka.

Regarding the existing building, "OMC has no firm plans, but is exploring options," said Salucka.

Typically, OMC branch clinics have been standalone facilities, but the collaboration with Spring Valley Senior Living makes this project particularly unique and exciting, said Salucka.

"Being able to partner with another not-for-profit organization and share the same physical space with it opens a new chapter in OMC's ongoing story of providing exceptional care to Spring Valley residents," said Salucka. "Our co-location also makes it much more convenient for Senior Living Center residents to access a full spectrum of care."

The Spring Valley clinic project is not the only one the medical group has in progress at this point. Work on a new sports medicine and athletic performance facility, which will be located next to its Rochester Northwest clinic, is underway. OMC plans to open its 10th branch clinic in Cannon Falls very soon. And, it will break ground on its biggest project, the Women's Health Pavilion at its hospital in Rochester, later this month.

"Olmsted Medical Center remains committed to Spring Valley and our patients who live in the area - and that's not going to change any time soon," said Salucka. "We are honored to be part of the Spring Valley community and enjoy being able to provide top-notch medical care to such a supportive community."