Mayo Clinic will close its Springfield and Lamberton locations in 2020. The company announced the impending closures Tuesday, citing a “careful review of patient volumes, ongoing staffing issues, and regulatory concerns.”

The closures, effective March 1, 2020, include the hospital and emergency departments in Springfield, and clinics in both towns.

A press release sent by the company calls the decision “difficult.”  James Hebl, M.D. Regional Vice President of Mayo Clinic Health System, said the clinic “has been proud to have a presence in Springfield and Lamberton over the past 22 years.”

Staffing challenges have plagued the Springfield locations for the past several years, including an inability to recruit and retain physicians.  Declining hospital admissions and extremely low use of the emergency department were also concerning.

Mayo attempted to implement a new care model last fall, but the problems persisted and there are new concerns regarding future accreditation.

Another Minnesota health care organization has expressed serious interest in working with the Springfield community and city officials to establish outpatient clinic services for the area.   More information will be shared as those discussions take place, according to the release.

Springfield is one of eight hospitals within a 38-mile radius, adding to the challenge of achieving adequate patient volumes in its sparsely populated area.  A total of nine inpatients have been admitted in 2019 so far, with an additional 28 staying overnight for observation.

The closure will affect approximately 60 employees, who will be offered positions at other Mayo Clinic sites.

“This is not the outcome we wanted for our patients, or staff, or the community,” said Hebl.  “But it’s a decision that was necessary to make.”