By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Clinic celebrated the addition of its longtime next door neighbor with a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 12 at what is now known as the Marshfield Medical Center, formerly St. Joseph’s Hospital, which the clinic decided to purchase over a year ago. The ribbon-cutting celebration marked the end of the acquisition process.
Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney called it a wonderful day for the Marshfield community.
“It took a lot of tenacity, and it took a lot of courage for us to take this journey together, and we need to celebrate our victories. This is a huge victory,” said Turney. “This brings jobs to our communities, it brings care to our patients, and it is something that we need to embrace as we continue to enrich lives and continue to do so for the next 100 years.”
Ned Wolf will serve as the chief administrative officer for the Marshfield Medical Center. He hopes to build on the tradition of care provided for more than 125 years at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“And that’s going to continue, and we already know that because we’ve already got that message from the staff who have come to work for us, … and so there are a number of things we need to address,” Wolf stated. “We see lots of opportunity, and we want to build it into something bigger and better than what it has been, and I think that we have the team that can do that.
“I’m excited about it. This is what I have been doing all of my career, and the team and the managers I’ve seen, as long as the team we have together, we are going to be successful at that, providing that to Marshfield, the region, and the folks that come to us for care.”
Wolf said the clinic has already started looking at the size of the 500-bed hospital, which he said may be downsized at some point. Wolf had gone through a similar transition as the administrator of the Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake when it joined the Marshfield Clinic Health System almost 10 years ago.
Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer proclaimed July 12 Marshfield Medical Center Day in the city and said that the acquisition of the hospital by the clinic was absolutely the best solution for the city and for the Marshfield medical community, considering Marshfield Clinic at one point was talking about building its own hospital in the city.
“Change is something that is tough for everybody. Mayors, everybody who lives here, everybody throughout the community struggles with change. That’s human nature. Organizations are no different, and when the time came for change in the Marshfield Clinic, it created a lot of stress for a lot of people throughout our community and I can tell you a lot of stress for people in City Hall too as we face the prospect of having to provide services for two hospitals — water, sewer, electricity, fire, and police protection — so this has always been the ideal scenario, and so, yes, this is absolutely the best outcome.
“This allows Marshfield Clinic to remain a driving force in health care throughout Wisconsin and nationally — based right here in Marshfield with their system of care — and so we’re excited.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System now owns and operates hospitals in Marshfield and Rice Lake, and it co-sponsors Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls with Ministry Health Care. Next year the clinic will open a new hospital in Eau Claire, and it is also pursuing hospital opportunities in Ladysmith and Minocqua.