Mayor: More discussions to come on health services; Announcement came as a surprise to city, Mayo officials in Adams

Published 7:49 am Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The announcement that the Mayo Health System clinic in Adams would close came abruptly last week, said Adams mayor Nancy Thalberg.

“I was very blindsided,” she said.

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She added Mayo officials were equally surprised.

Dr. Scott Holtz was the sole provider in the clinic and when he decided to leave, it was clear that keeping the clinic open would be tough, she said on Monday.

Still, Thalberg said there may still be some services as talks with Mayo will continue.

She knows, she said, that Adams is just one of many communities facing the challenge of a continuing shortage of primary care physicians.

Holtz and his wife, Dr. Carol Holtz, who served in a family medicine hospice position in Austin, have accepted new positions at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, according to a Mayo press release issued Friday. The nursing and support staff now working in Adams will transfer to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, officials say.

Thalberg said the vast majority of the patients using the Adams clinic were from Austin, so most of those will still find care in Austin. She said Adams Health Care Center residents would continue to receive services through Mayo.

There are still options to be discussed, Thalberg said. Mayo will continue to meet with different members of the community to consider creating a new model, a type of piloted project, for rural care that could include a combination of a telemedicine — Mayo’s 24/7 Nurse Line and Express Care Online — and perhaps use of an on-site nurse, said Thalberg.

She said she is optimistic that at some level of service may be provided. She looks forward to more discussion on the issue.

“I think Mayo is looking at everything they can” to provide help, she said. She said she is staying positive about what might be accomplished.

“This is rural America,” she said. “And this is what is happening” when shortages are felt.