I attended two important local events this week. Riverwood Medical Center held their grand opening of the new addition to the hospital complex. Wow! What a wonderful addition to our local medical facilities.
As one who is old enough to remember when construction first began on Aitkin’s hospital it’s a blessing to see where we are today. Our region is very fortunate to have within our midst, the Riverwood Healthcare Center, the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and Essentia Hospital, three modern hospitals.
Riverwood has added a completely new clinic wing that features the latest team approach in patient care. The previously small rehabilitation section has been expanded to help surgery patients to quickly get back on their feet.
While it won’t be operational until early in 2020, Riverwood’s expansion includes a nine-station dialysis wing that will provide critical dialysis services to our region of Minnesota. During the tour we also got to see a demonstration of the latest minimally invasive micro surgery equipment.
The system allows surgeons to use precise robotic tools to assist during surgeries. Many surgeries that would have required a major incision and several days in the hospital now will be able to be done with same-day discharges or just an overnight stay.
The city of Garrison also held a town meeting to discuss future plans for the city. Mayor Loren Larson led the far ranging discussion of items of importance to the community. Transportation and traffic issues got a lot of attention. A representative from MnDOT provided an update on future maintenance efforts for state highways 169 and 18.
There is a project just beginning to come into focus on MnDOT’s five-year plan that will deal with the Highway 169 and Highway 18 intersection. That intersection happens to be right in the middle of Garrison and is extremely busy. Improving the safety and efficiency of that intersection is now beginning to get some attention.
There was discussion of the need to dress up the lakeside along 169. When entering the city, Mille Lacs Lake dominates the view. The right-of-way area along the lake side of Hwy 169 needs some work. We will be working on resolving that issue and dealing with the many other items that were discussed at the meeting. The next Garrison town meeting will be 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at city hall. Hope you can attend.