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Breaking ground in Bagley; clinic set to open later this year

BAGLEY — The weather was sunny and warm Wednesday afternoon for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sanford Bagley Clinic set to open later this year.

 “Thank you for coming, sorry if your shoes are wet,” Kirby Johnson, administrator for Sanford Bagley Medical Center, said to the audience of more than 100 people standing in the field where the new clinic is to be built, the grass still wet from Tuesday evening’s rainstorms.

The new clinic, with an estimated cost of $1.5 million, will be a one-level building of 10,798 square feet, more than three times larger than Sanford’s current space, which is 3,452 square feet.

The new facility will integrate services and health care professionals, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and cardiac rehab to the one central location. The Sanford Bagley Medical Center will continue to provide inpatient services for those requiring surgery and hospitalization.

In addition to Johnson, the ceremony featured seven other speakers: Dave Hengel, Greater Bemidji’s executive director; Phil Verchota, Greader Bemidji’s board president; Bagley Mayor Sidney Michael; Jim Russ of TEAM Industries; Les Liljedahl, advisory board president and president of First National Bank; Dr. Andre Spence, a Sanford Bagley physician; and Dan Olson, chief operating officer Sanford Bemidji Region Clinics.

Many of the speakers stressed how the new clinic will be able to expand services, as well as more time with physicians. Others talked on how the project was a partnership between many key players in the community, as well as surrounding communities.

“The people here deserve a bigger, better facility,” Olson told the crowd. “We will be able to retain and recruit physicians, and we can give thanks to the community of Bagley for that.”

Greater Bemidji will own the building and Sanford Health will lease and operate the clinic. The city is providing tax-increment financing and loan funds for the project. TEAM Industries donated $200,000 toward the land purchase and construction, and additional financing is coming from the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, First National Bank, Deerwood Bank, Riverwood Bank and Security Bank, according to Sanford Health.

The new clinic is set to open in late fall or winter.

Joe Froemming

Joe Froemming is a page designer for Forum Communications Co. You can read his blog at

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