Allina Health River Falls Clinic brings new care to the neighborhood
In the foreground, children were having their faces painted and citizens were climbing in and out of helicopters and ambulances on display. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, cabinets were stocked, hand sanitizer filled and exam rooms lay prepped and ready.
Local artists had worked to fill the walls with color. Fresh white lines for parking spaces were painted and shrubs were planted in the hopes that they would someday grow to fill the landscaping.
Much like those plants, the Allina Health River Falls Clinic is in it’s infancy. The doors were opened on Sept. 23 for an open house where community members could come see for themselves the new building that sits next to the River Falls Hospital, also part of Allina Health, on East Division Street. The brand-new clinic is already busy as patients are able to schedule appointments 24 hours a day using the online calendar or by phone.
There are five medical doctors and one licensed acupuncturist on staff at the clinic, all with their own specialties. The clinic offers 19 services to patients including vaccinations, family medicine, general surgery and pregnancy care.
Dr. Katelyn Bezek did not have to travel far to end up in River Falls. “I grew up in central Minnesota and moved all over the Midwest for college and medical school,” Bezek said. After spending four years at United Hospital in St. Paul, Bezek made the transition to River Falls after “so many other providers told me how much they loved the people out here.” Bezek also works with the River Falls Hospital.
Bezek has certainly enjoyed her time in River Falls thus far and likes the culture. “River Falls is amazing,” she said. “The area is beautiful, the clinic is a lot of fun and the people are so friendly. I love how many artists live in the area, all of the clinic artwork was done by local artists, and I’ve heard about some incredible things people in the area are working on.”
Bezek said the clinic is up and running very smoothly. “Most of our team is from the area and have worked here for years; they’re phenomenal, we’re lucky to have such a kind and experienced team right from the start,” she said.
Heather Lindstrom lives just a block away from the new clinic and has already found it to be incredibly convenient. “I think the new clinic is a great addition, especially for me living so close, its nice to be able to receive good care right away and be treated,” she said. “I don’t have to go anywhere; its in my own backyard I don’t need to travel to Hudson or anywhere else, and especially for something minor that a clinic could just handle.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, every year since 2012 the population of River Falls has climbed. Lindstrom said she believes the new clinic came at the the right time. “I think that this new clinic adds a lot to our community and it shows that we’re growing, which is really awesome,” she said.
Although the clinic is brand-new, the mission is clear. “Our goals for the clinic are to provide thorough and compassionate care to the community we serve. In ours and other communities,” Bezek said.