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New children's clinic planned

A new pediatric clinic is opening in late August, marking yet another speciality clinic to open in Woodbury.

The University of Minnesota Health Pediatric Specialty Clinic-Woodbury is scheduled to open Aug. 29 and will provide a number of specialty care for children ranging from heart and lung care to weight management.

The clinic will share a building with Central Pediatrics, located at 9680 Tamarack Road.

The University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services have long shared resources, and a potential merger between the two sides would create a single entity called University of Minnesota Health. The plan, however, hit a standstill in early July after disagreements between both sides.

Nevertheless, plans to open a new clinic in Woodbury are moving ahead.

Beth Andrews, director of operations for University of Minnesota Health, said the decision to open a Woodbury clinic came after noting a significant number of patients from the East Metro and western Wisconsin sought speciality care at clinics on the U of M campus and in St. Paul.

For some, she said, the distance can sometimes be difficult for families.

"We're looking forward to being an access point for patients and families in the Woodbury community and surrounding area," Andrew said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 23 percent of the residents in St. Croix County—which includes cities like Hudson and New Richmond, Wis.—live in a "health professional shortage area," a geographic designation the department defines as having a shortage of primary medical, dental and mental health care.

Andrews said there are seven speciality pediatric clinics in the Twin Cities metro--five of which are located on the U of M Twin Cities campus.

The clinic will not offer primary care, such as routine checkups, but kids with complicated ailments will be able to receive care that requires more than one specialist, Andrews said.

"We really like the idea of one-stop shopping," she said.

Services that will be offered at the clinic include lung, heart, kidney, brain, skin and weight management care, among several other speciality services.

Physicians will also be able to perform certain procedures, such as joint injections and ultrasounds.

The clinic will also staff a family specialist with a background in child development to help reduce anxiety for child patients, especially those with more complicated illnesses.

Through a partnership with pediatric rehabilitation specialist at Fairview, patients will also be able to receive physical, occupational and speech therapy at the Woodbury clinic, which will also have a small gym inside.

Andrews added that the clinic's location near HealthEast Clinic-Tamarack and Central Pediatrics may also lead to future partnerships.

Starting out, Andrews said she anticipates about 13 or 14 physicians will work out of the clinic with the possibility of adding more in the future.

"We hope that number grows," Andrews said. "We have space to accommodate other specialties, so we do really hope to grow here."

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