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Sanford to build $60 million medical center in Thief River Falls

Sanford Health will build a new $60 million medical center and clinic in Thief River Falls, Minn.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring of 2012, with completion planned for the fall of 2014. The new location, along Minnesota Highway 32 on the south end of town, is expected to centralize care for patients, with clinic and hospital services located on one medical campus, according to Sanford officials.

Sanford Health has run the 25-bed Thief River Falls medical center, which was built in 1932, since 2007. It now has more than 540 employees in the community, providing a variety of services, including hospital care, physical and occupational therapy, health education, and emergency medicine.

"Over the years, Sanford Health has worked to advance healthcare throughout the region," says Chris Harff, CEO of Sanford Thief River Falls Medical Center. "This new medical center will shape the future of healthcare in the community and region. This is a great opportunity that will allow us to meet our patients' needs for years to come."

In addition to construction of a new medical center and clinic, the project will include remodeling of the existing clinic on U.S. Highway 59 to be used by Sanford to expand and co-locate behavioral health inpatient and outpatient services. Other services at that location will include dialysis and the wellness center.

Sanford hopes to sell the current hospital building, which is located downtown. However, if a buyer cannot be found, it will be demolished and converted into green space to enhance the downtown area's access to the Red Lake River.

Currently, Sanford Health offers specialists in a wide variety of areas, including audiology, chiropractic, orthopedics, oncology, pain management, urology, internal medicine, podiatry, sleep medicine, and ear, nose, and throat care.

The Grand Forks Herald and the Bemidji Pioneer are both owned by Forum Communications co.