Mayo Clinic Health System mobile health clinic

BUTTERFIELD — Butterfield residents usually have to make the drive over to St. James, Mountain Lake or further for medical appointments.

This week, a clinic is coming to them.

Mayo Clinic Health System’s mobile health clinic will come to the city of about 500 people on Tuesday and Thursday, then again on Oct. 26 and 28.

The clinic, which has exam rooms, a lab and pharmacy services within what looks like a blue charter bus, travels to rural areas in the health system’s southwest and southeast regions. Since launching in July, it visited Sherburn in Martin County, along with sports physical clinics in St. James, Butterfield, Truman and Granada.

Bringing more clinic services to Watonwan County in Butterfield this month was a response to interest from the community, said Amy Long, administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James and Fairmont.

“We do see a fair number of patients from the Butterfield area that come to our Fairmont and St. James clinic locations,” she said. “That’s the primary reason we wanted to offer select dates.”

The health system’s St. James clinic and hospital is about a 12-minute drive east from Butterfield, while a Sanford Health clinic in Mountain Lake is a similar drive away to the west. Mayo in Fairmont’s hospital and clinic is about 40 miles away.

Less access to health care is one of the factors contributing to worse health outcomes for people living in rural areas. New census data found about 14% of Americans live in rural areas.

The mobile health clinic’s services are similar to what a patient would get at a primary care clinic, Long said. Patients could receive health screenings, COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, chronic disease checks, medication refills and other acute illness or chronic disease treatments in the mobile unit.

For specialty care, telemedicine capabilities are built-in. It’s an extension of the health system’s virtual care options, said Dr. Gokhan Anil, chair of clinical practice for Mayo Clinic Health System’s southwest Minnesota region, in a release.

“The mobile health clinic is part of Mayo Clinic’s commitment to innovation and creative solutions that serve local communities,” he stated.

More clinic dates in Butterfield could happen in the future if the demand is there, Long said.

“Our goal is to continue to take it to communities and see what needs we can meet,” she said.

The mobile clinic’s hours will be from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. each day in Butterfield. Long encouraged people in need of appointments to call 507-238-8500.

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