The Mat-Su Regional Medical Center announced a partnership with the prestigious Mayo Clinic.

Staff says they’ve been working for more than a year to become a part of Mayo’s Care Network.

That means patients in the Valley will have access to free consultations and second opinions from experts around the country without having to leave Alaska.

“This collaborative effort will allow us to reassure our patients that they’re really getting the highest level of care they can,” said Emergency Medicine Dr. Meghan Lindstrom.

Lindstrom said it’s important the hospital offers a wide array of services as the population around the Mat-Su Valley continues to grow. She said the emergency rooms sees up to 100 patients a day; each year, the patient volume increases by about 5 percent.

“Having a good hospital is pivotal to supporting a thriving community like the Mat-Su Valley, so it’s so critical that we’re delivering excellent care locally,” Lindstrom said.

Only 40 independent healthcare centers around the world make up Mayo’s Care Network, which also includes Foundation Health Partners in Fairbanks.

Mayo Clinic employs more than 4,700 physicians and scientists and serves more than one million patients every year.

The staff is pleased to welcome Mat-Su Regional to the Care Network.

“They have excellent physicians here and they practice quality care, but no one can practice in a vacuum. Often we come to the point where we need someone else who may specialize in a very specific disease or uncommon illness,” said Keith Cannon, the medical director for the Southwest Region.

Mat-Su Regional is also in the middle of an expansion to increase their services. They’re adding 10 beds to the Emergency Room and a new 36-bed inpatient treatment facility is expected to open in 2020.

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