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Willmar's Family Practice Medical Center, Carris Health enter into services agreement

WILLMAR — In a move that further integrates the delivery of local health care, Carris Health and Family Practice Medical Center announced Tuesday that they have entered into a professional services agreement.

Patients will continue to see their Family Practice Medical Center physicians and advanced practice professionals in the same clinic location at Lakeland Health Center in Willmar, the two organizations said in a joint statement.

They said patients should not notice any changes to their care or services.

Non-physician employees at Family Practice Medical Center have transitioned employment to Carris Health.

Family Practice Medical Center focuses on primary care with a range of services that includes obstetrics, preventive medicine and management of chronic and acute health conditions. The clinic also operates its own lab and X-ray departments. It has a medical staff of eight family practice physicians.

In a statement issued Tuesday, leaders of Carris Health and Family Practice Medical Center said the two entities "will continue to work together to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations in our region, and reduce the cost of health care for our patients.

"Through this affiliation, we will continue to work together to care for our communities in the best way possible. We realize that by working together we can combine our individual knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions to provide the quality care people need at all stages of life," they said.

The announcement represents the latest in a series of realignments that have been taking place over the past year with the establishment of Carris Health, a joint entity of Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers operating as a new nonprofit subsidiary of CentraCare Health.

Effective Jan. 1, Redwood Area Hospital in Redwood Falls became part of Carris Health. Construction will start this spring on a new multimillion-dollar Carris Health Redwood Falls campus.

Also effective Jan. 1, the Carris Health medical clinic and surgery center in Marshall became part of the Avera system.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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