A special joint meeting of the City Council, County Board of Commissioners, and the Hospital Board was held on Tuesday evening at the EMS Training Center in Montevideo.

 

A special joint meeting of the City Council, County Board of Commissioners, and the Hospital Board was held on Tuesday evening at the EMS Training Center in Montevideo. The meeting was open to the public, and a large number of people packed the meeting room.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the hospital’s plan to purchase the Coborn’s building and turn it into a community health center. Brian Lovdahl, CEO of CCMH, welcomed and thanked everyone for coming, then asked  a question. “What if someone could live a longer, more fulfilling life by living in Montevideo?” he asked.

Lovdahl then began a power point presentation outlining why the hospital feels there is a need to address community health, and how the proposed purchase of the Coborn’s building fits into CCMH’s long-range plan to improve the overall health of the community. “Right now, in our community, we are facing a crisis,” he said.

He then went on to detail the findings of a Countryside Public Health Survey which showed that 74 percent of adults in the community do not get 20 minutes of physical activity each day, 60 percent of children do not get 30 minutes of physical activity, and 73 percent of adults are overweight or obese.

Lovdahl laid out the costs of being unhealthy.

Minnesota is ranked 16th highest in health care spending in the nation at $6,000 per person per year. Health care costs are 15 percent higher than they were in 2013,” he said. “We are in a broken system; one in five hospitals are at a high risk of closing. Nineteen facilities in Minnesota are at risk of closing. Now think about our neighbors: we have Madison, Appleton, Dawson, Granite Falls, and us. The statistics say that one of us will not survive, and that is frightening.”

According to Lovdahl, the system has to change. He said: “By 2021, the Medicare population will be an at-risk population. If we do not lower costs on Medicare patients by 2021, we will be penalized financially. That’s just the way it is.”

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