Marshfield Clinic offered to build new hospital in partnership with Ministry
Clinic now awaits response
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Clinic Executive Director Dr. Narayana Murali said Tuesday evening that in the past few weeks Marshfield Clinic Health System has formally offered to run their planned hospital of the future in collaboration with Ministry Health Care.
“We actually offered to build the facility together based on the community opinion,” Murali said. He and Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney said the offer was made both verbally and in writing within the last four weeks.
Murali said that the two sides have not come to a conclusion and that Marshfield Clinic Health System is awaiting a response from Ministry.
“We are as yet to hear precisely what they have to offer in return,” Murali said. He added that there would likely be a majority and minority owner in this scenario. “We are happy to work collaboratively,” he added.
Murali said that several service agreements between Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Marshfield Clinic have been discontinued over the past several months.
“That is the reason why we said that to stem the tide of the problem, let us jointly come together and offer employment,” Murali said. “If you’re really committed to the community, like we are, then why don’t we do it together?”
“We were told that there would be a response. We are still waiting for a response because we would like to take that response to our system board for discussions,” Murali said.
Turney added that Ministry Health Care has expressed a desire for a “deeper relationship with (Marshfield Clinic)” over the last six or seven years. Turney said that in these conversations Marshfield Clinic wanted to avoid extensive vertical or horizontal integration with another entity in order to maintain its independence.
“Some of the things that we might do independently could not likely be done in that model,” Turney said.
Murali said that the problem or conflict between the organizations in part stems from Marshfield Clinic’s move to build a new hospital with a heavier focus on outpatient and lower cost care, which creates competition with “the traditional inpatient setting” that Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital provides.
Murali’s and Turney’s statements came just after a city zoning board of appeals meeting in which the board unanimously voted to deny an appeal by Ministry Health Care and Saint Joseph’s Hospital, seeking to revoke Marshfield Clinic’s building permits for renovations on its East Wing and require the clinic to attain conditional use permits for the construction.
Hub City Times has reached out to Ministry Health Care and is hoping for a response to this story by Wednesday morning.