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Tribune Opinion: Surgery center is another positive Carris Health step

Anne Polta / Tribune The new $11 million Carris Health Surgery Center in Willmar will celebrate its grand opening Thursday.

Another new chapter of Carris Health opened this week as the new $11 million outpatient surgery center opened on the health organization's Willmar campus.

Ground was broken in 2017 under the guidance of the Affiliated Community Medical Centers board with the intent of creating a next generation outpatient surgery center.

The previous ACMC surgery center was constructed in the 1980s. The facility now handles a volume of 7,000 procedures per year, which has outgrown the capacity of the previous building.

Carris Health conducted its first patient procedures this week, after staff and equipment were moved into the new facility last week.

The new surgery center is about three times larger than the old building and is designed with patients' needs and updated health standards in mind.

The new facility has four operating suites plus two suites dedicated to just endoscopy procedures. Each suite is "significantly larger" and incorporate the latest in technology. Each suite is standardized across the facility, which provides for all the necessities of any appropriate procedure.

The design of the building provides for patient flow from the building entrance to leaving the building from a separate building exit. Patient privacy was a major goal of the building planning as well, with separate registration, consulting and pre-op sections.

The facility was designed with input of the 54 employees and 37 physicians who perform procedures. This input resulted in a modern facility that will work best for the patients and staff.

Carris Health is holding an open house from 4-7 p.m. today for public tours. The public is encouraged to visit for a first-hand look inside.

The opening of the new Surgery Center is another step forward for Carris Health, the new nonprofit subsidiary of CentraCare Health that resulted from the merger of ACMC and Rice Memorial Hospital.

The health organization is also in discussions with the Redwood Area Hospital in Redwood Falls concerning a possible partnership and a new health care campus in that community.

In the ever-changing health care environment, these are all positive developments in the first year of Carris Health.

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