City grants CUPs to Marshfield Clinic
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Clinic was granted two conditional use permits related to construction in its East Wing at Monday night’s City Plan Commission meeting as Ministry Health Care withdrew objections to the permits less than two hours prior to the start of the meeting.
The City Plan Commission unanimously approved both conditional use permit requests. One permit was to allow for a 4,500-square foot radiation/oncology addition to the Clinic’s East Wing and the other to allow The Boldt Company, the contractor performing the East Wing work, to use a temporary project contractor’s office for longer than 365 days. Such a request requires a conditional use permit under city code.
Ministry was initially prepared to contest the conditional use permit related to the radiation/oncology addition. You can read about why Ministry was initially set to protest the issuance of that permit at this link.
Ministry withdrew its objections less than two hours before Monday’s City Plan Commission meeting, which started at 5:30 p.m.
“We’re actually very pleased that they withdrew because it actually helps us to go to our next step of lowering the cost of care and providing the quality and service that we can for our communities, so this is a good thing. We will figure out a way to continue looking at increasingly cooperative ways to work with Ministry,” said Marshfield Clinic Executive Director Dr. Narayana Murali after the plan commission meeting.
When asked if he viewed the fact that Ministry withdrew its objections to the conditional use permits as a sign of an improving relationship between Marshfield Clinic and Ministry, “I would take it as a good sign. Let’s wait and see. We want to work cooperatively. That’s the sentiment of the community, so we essentially are listening to the sentiment of the community, and we’ll be happy to work with them in any which way so long as the focus is on the cost of care and the quality piece.”
Murali said that he will have a meeting with Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital leadership on Tuesday to discuss providing care to the community and staffing issues between the two health care providers. He added that there has not been any movement on the clinic’s offer to build its new hospital in partnership with Ministry. Marshfield Clinic’s new hospital is roughly scheduled to open in 2018 and will be attached in some fashion to the current Marshfield Clinic’s East Wing.
In a press release issued on Monday, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney said, “We are also pleased that Ministry Health Care withdrew its objection and will no longer try to prevent the community from getting quality health care at a lower price.”
She added, “Our goals include providing the best care possible and working to lower the overall cost of health care, and our preference is to find ways to collaborate with Ministry in doing so.”
Hub City Times reached out to Ministry Health Care for comment on this story but has not yet received a response.