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Madelia Health eyes Truman

TRUMAN — The Truman City Council heard from Jeff Mengenhausen, CEO of Madelia Health, on Monday.

Mengenhausen said they would like to rent the facility attached to Truman Senior Living and provide primary healthcare five days a week. Mengenhausen said they would have a consistent provider.

Starting out, Mengenhausen said they’d have one nurse practitioner, one nurse and one front desk person. If someone needs to go on vacation or something happens, they would pull staff from Madelia.

“Looking at Truman and our service area, we continue to see more and more patients come up to Madelia,” Mengenhausen said.

Mengenhausen said he’s about 90 percent sure that they could also provide pharmacy services. He said they could also offer physical therapy and as it grows they can look at expanding beyond that.

“For rural healthcare to work you have to have consistency in your provider because patients need to trust their provider,” Mengenhausen said.

He said they have a provider picked out that’s willing to work in Truman and staffing for nurses and front desk won’t be a problem.

“We pride ourselves on having access to quality care and patient experience,” Mengenhausen said.

Mengenhausen said Madelia Health is one of just three hospitals in the state that didn’t lay off or furlough any employees during the pandemic.

Mayor Terry Bentele asked about insurance coverage, in-network and out-of-network.

“I know in some cases elderly people don’t have a mode of transportation to Fairmont and Mayo has offered to bring a mobile unit into town for that purpose, and if they’re in-network, it will probably cover that whereas if they’re out of network, insurance wouldn’t cover it,” Bentele said.

Bentele asked what Mengenhausen thought about a Mayo mobile unit coming to town, along with Madelia Health.

“It adds a little complexity because Truman is tough enough as it is. To open a clinic by itself will be hard to sustain,” Mengenhausen admitted.

“I think it’s a good fit. It’s not perfect but nothing is. It’s unfortunate if some people lose their coverage,” said council member Jake Ebert.

Truman’s city attorney, Derrick Greiner looked over the lease agreement between the city of Truman and Madelia Health and took issue with the non-compete because of the Mayo mobile unit offer.

Greiner said the lease said that the city could still approve the mobile unit coming if Madelia approves it, i.e. if there’s a large community blood drive or event that will benefit the community.

Greiner said another option is to change the city ordinance, which is similar to a door-to-door salesperson which requires a license with the city.

“If you fix the ordinance then they won’t be able to set up in town without city approval,” Greiner said.

“As far as Mayo is concerned, we need to table that (issue) and see what’s going on with Madelia before we make a decision on that. We don’t want to say ‘no we’re done with that’ and then have something fall apart with Madelia,” said council member Brandon Mosloski.

The council agreed that they’re looking for a long-term solution for the residents of Truman. The Mayo mobile unit would be there every other week for several days and Madelia Health would provide services five days a week.

Moving to other matters, Nancy Salic and Mona Weihe were present to briefly go over the timeline of events for Truman Days.

Salic said they’ve added more units to the parade, making it close to 90. They will also have five classes in the parade, including the class of 1940.

As for planning the annual event, Salic said, “I’ve enjoyed it and I’m excited about all of the people coming.”

However, she said that four of the Truman Days committee members have said that they won’t be able to plan next year’s event for various reasons.

“We need to find other people to take over,” Salic said.

In other news, the council looked over the prices for the campground, which they said haven’t been raised in quite a few years.

The honor system will be enforced for payment but the council approved the new prices as followed:

$15 for equipment site, $25 for 30 amp site and $35 for 50 amp site. New prices are effective after Truman Days.

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