Mayo Clinic Health System turns 30

The Mayo Clinic Health System is celebrating 30 years.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:12 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Mayo Clinic Health System is celebrating 30 years. With the goal of providing care locally, it was established in 1992.

Nurse practitioner Bonnie Steel has worked there for 35 years.

Back then, the healthcare center was known as Immanuel-St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“I think ISJ becoming part of the Mayo Clinic Health System has been a benefit in so many ways, giving us experience with different medications, but with different technology. And I think it gives us a greater opportunity for advancement in technology,” said Bonnie Steel, nurse practitioner for Mayo Clinic Health System.

The health system has expanded to include physical locations in 44 communities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

“We couldn’t do it if there wasn’t everybody at the bedside, at the patient’s side, helping them through their journey, because health is a journey, and it’s different for everyone,” added Steel.

Yet, the history of health centers in Mankato can be traced all the way back to 1882, with Tourtellotte Hospital.

“Not where the Tourtellotte Pool sits now, it was actually on Fourth Street between Spruce and Maxfield. So outside of town, outside of city limits,” described Heather Harren, operations manager at the Blue Earth County Historical Society. “The hospital came to us as a gift from John Tourtellotte. He left money to the City of Mankato. He was a Civil War veteran, and the whole purpose was to better the community. So what better way to better the community than to make a hospital?”

Mankato’s second health center, St Joseph’s Hospital, merged with Immanuel Hospital almost 50 years ago.

“St. Joseph builds a new location in the Hilltop area, where we now know it as Mayo Clinic Health System. And it wasn’t until 1968 [that] they merged, and we got ISJ,” Harren added. “So that way you’ve got all of your services in one building up there. Mankato Clinic eventually moved up to the area, making it a very nice medical block in 1992. And then it became Immanuel-St. Joseph’s Health Clinic Systems in 1996. So lots and lots of history here with the hospitals.”

The Mayo Clinic Health System has recently completed a few projects in southern Minnesota while working on others. Those projects include:

  • The $155 million three-floor expansion and modernization project at the Mankato hospital is underway.
  • A $4.2 million project to expand and renovate the Waseca hospital’s Emergency Department is underway.
  • The $4.5 million remodel of the New Prague hospital and surgical center was recently completed.
  • The $16 million outpatient imaging center at the Madison East campus in Mankato was recently completed.