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Essentia Building New Primary Care Clinic in Cloquet

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: November 22, 2019 06:54 PM

Essentia Health hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in Cloquet Friday to celebrate the new primary care clinic they're opening for patients and employees. 

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“It’s an opportunity for us to bring specialists to the community,” said Dr. Jon Pryor, the Essentia president of operations.

Accessible primary care in the Cloquet area for Essentia Health patients is a challenge. They have to drive out of town to get specialized care. Patients in Carlton County have struggled in having specialized healthcare close to home. Essentia saw the need to bring that to them.

"By building this clinic we'll allow ourselves to not only take care of the 600 employees that we have who live in Carlton County, but we have many patients in the region who drive to Duluth for their care currently,” said Tammy Kritzer, the Essentia Health senior vice president of regional operations.

The 10,000 square foot building will be located on 1413 Minnesota Hwy 33. It will focus on primary care, including family medicine and other specialized services like physical therapy.

"We're going to have an urgent care, access to lab and radiology, rehab space, and in the future we'll have specialty outreach services come to the clinic as well,” said Kritzer.

"If you provide local care people are more likely to access care instead of staying at home and suffering,” said Pryor.

The project is expected to be complete by summer 2020.

“It’ll certainly offer some things right here that currently are done in Duluth and will make it easier for people to get health care they need to give them more options than they currently have,” said Cloquet Mayor Roger Maki.

Maki said he has heard mixed reaction from the other doctor clinics currently in the area.

“It’s more competition for them so they’re probably not thrilled in some ways about it but they have some loyal patients and I’m sure they'll continue to have them,” said Maki.

At the end of the day though, Essentia said this will be a benefit for everyone in the area.

“We're going to have care close and easily accessible to patients in this community,” said Kritzer.

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Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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