Northland OB-GYN clinic to join St. Luke’sAfter 41 years as an independent clinic, Northland OB-GYN will join the St. Luke’s hospital system July 1, the hospital announced on Wednesday.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
After 41 years as an independent clinic, Northland OB-GYN will join the St. Luke’s hospital system July 1, the hospital announced on Wednesday.
The practice will be renamed St. Luke’s Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates.
The affiliation comes with mixed feelings, said Dr. Susan Goltz, one of eight physicians at Northland OB-GYN, 1000 E. First St.
“It’s always sad to see the end of something, whether it’s a business or a family member or a friend or geographical space,” Goltz said. “There’s always a certain amount of sadness. But we mainly feel excitement about the fact that we’re going to align ourselves with such a great system that really we share so much in common with already.”
St. Luke’s is purchasing all the assets of the clinic, Goltz said.
John Strange, president and CEO of St. Luke’s, said the clinic is a good fit.
“Women’s health is extremely important to our patients,” Strange said. “We’ve worked with OB-GYN for a long time, and it’s really been a very, very close relationship. This allows us to continue to strengthen that relationship.”
Northland OB-GYN had announced an affiliation with the Integrity Health Network in October. But the clinic already had been in talks with St. Luke’s and during the succeeding months “it became clear to us that we really wanted to align more closely with St. Luke’s,” she said.
The clinic also had talks with Essentia Health, Goltz said.
“Both groups came to us with very pleasantly wonderful proposals,” she said. “They both value us. That was very clear in the early parts of our negotiations.”
The clinic sought an affiliation because the business of health care has become so complex, Goltz said.
“We decided as a group that we really wanted to focus our energy and attention to providing health care to women rather than running a business,” she said.
The clinic has 35 employees in addition to the physicians and has been assured all will be offered positions with St. Luke’s, Goltz said.
Strange said the number of employees might be increased.
Northland OB-GYN serves a geographic area from Grand Portage to Grand Rapids to Pine City and into Wisconsin, with some patients from the Upper Peninsula. It has satellite clinics in Ashland, Superior, Two Harbors and West Duluth, which are expected to continue operating.
The clinics also could be expanded, Strange said.
“With the St. Luke’s network of clinics, that gives us the ability to provide services in a lot of different locations,” he said.
Northland OB-GYN was established in 1971, Goltz said. It has seen 30,000 patients since January 2007.
St. Luke’s was established by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1881 but has been unaffiliated with the church since 1920.