Official: GM clinic lacked business

Published 11:02 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System’s decision to close its Grand Meadow location stemmed from a lack of local clientele and no replacement for its sole physician.

The clinic simultaneously announced the closing of its Grand Meadow location and the retirement of longtime physician Dr. Michael Gregg in a news release Monday.

“Dr. Gregg has been contemplating retirement for quite some time and finalized his decision to retire in 2012,” said Tammy Kritzer, vice president of operations, in a followup email.

Email newsletter signup

Gregg has been the only physician at the Grand Meadow clinic for more than 27 years. From 2007 to 2012, a certified nurse practitioner practiced on a part-time basis there, but she is now in Rochester full time. The location has four employees. Gregg’s last day will be March 29.

“It takes a special physician to serve as a solo practitioner in a rural community given the challenges and complexities of delivering high quality, cost-effective care in today’s environment,” Kritzer said.

Mayo was unable to successfully fill Gregg’s position through recruitment companies, which Kritzer said stems from a national shortage of primary care providers.

Kritzer said Mayo looked at how the decision to close the clinic would impact the community and staff before making its decision.

“We took time to study where Grand Meadow residents were currently seeking their health care services and we found that only 15 percent of Grand Meadow residents utilized the local Grand Meadow clinic,” she said. “It was apparent most residents were already choosing to drive out of town for their health care.”

Kritzer said there are four Mayo locations in driving range within about 20 miles from Grand Meadow that would be able to serve the town’s patients.

“Simply stated, the demand for physicians is much greater than the supply at this point in time,” she said.