By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Clinic has responded with strong words to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, Oct. 7, by Ministry Health Care.
That lawsuit filed against Marshfield’s Zoning Board of Appeals argued that building permits related to construction in Marshfield Clinic’s East Wing should not have been granted. Ministry asserted that beyond just building permits, conditional use permits should have been required for the construction. The lawsuit is outlined in this article, and a deeper look at Ministry’s objections the issuance of the building permits can be seen in this article.
On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 7, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney offered the following response to the lawsuit:
Marshfield Clinic continues to believe that a collaborative approach is the best course for providing the community with high-quality health care now and into the future, and it is very disappointing to see Ministry continue to employ tactics to disrupt our project, which would ultimately harm our ability to serve the needs of the community.
Marshfield Clinic is confident that the city acted properly and is well within its legal authority by approving our project, and this unfortunate lawsuit will turn out to be nothing more than a delay tactic that will cost taxpayers money and ultimately be unsuccessful.
Marshfield Clinic has a nearly 100-year history of commitment to this community and to our patients. Despite the fact that starting a lawsuit is not what we would call collaborative, we will continue our efforts to find ways to work with our partners to serve our communities.
Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer offered the following statement on the lawsuit:
This week Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital petitioned the Wisconsin Circuit Court for a Writ of Certiorari regarding a recent decision by the Marshfield Zoning Board of Appeals. This was in response to the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals to uphold the decision of the City Zoning Administrator to issue building permits to the Marshfield Clinic for work to be completed in the East Wing, often referred to as the Ambulatory Surgery building.
A Writ of Certiorari is a request that a higher court review the findings of a lower court. This is part of the due process that each of us has a right to use in disputing zoning decisions. This action was not unexpected. In fact the city has rigorously documented the process we used in making our decision in anticipation of this action and will provide that information to the courts for their review. The city is confident that the court will confirm that we properly followed all required processes and that our decision was consistent with our zoning code.
Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Marshfield Clinic have a long history of collaboration to provide world-class health care in our community while employing thousands of area residents. While the current changes are unsettling to all of us, the city of Marshfield remains committed to supporting both organizations as well as any partners either organization brings into our community.
As a community, we need to effectively communicate our concerns to the leadership of both organizations but also to be patient as this complex process unfolds. Both Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital as well as Marshfield Clinic continue to have open lines of communication with the city of Marshfield, and we appreciate their openness with us. The city of Marshfield continues to offer to assist in finding a resolution to the current issues in any capacity that would be of value while still respecting that these are two private businesses.