As I think about what has happened with Mayo Medical Center, what comes to mind is the story of the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Mayo came to our Albert Lea medical facilities, and because we held them in high esteem and trusted them, we allowed them to charm us, woo us and make promises.

Little by little they gained control of all our services and have revealed “the big bad wolf” has gobbled up all our facilities and most of the medical services in Southern Minnesota.

I worked with domestic abuse victims for thirty plus years. I see these same dynamics happening over and over here. The abuser charms and makes promises and gains power and control a little at a time until the victim is sucked in and then the abuse begins.

This abuse of power has resulted in dismantling of services in Albert Lea and Southern Minnesota; higher insurance premiums (yes, we have already been informed – ours are going up in 2018); higher medical costs (a family member would have paid $2,900 more for an MRI here at Mayo than they did going out of the area - REALLY).

I do not appreciate these higher costs and having to travel further for medical services. Mayo seems preoccupied with their own thirst for power and sees patients as incidental and useful only as a means for making a profit.

It seems they have convinced themselves the crisis they have created is real and that their solution looks good on “paper”.

Perhaps what they have done is “legal” but that does not make it ethical or in the best interest of their consumers. I see their motives as profits, power and control, not affordable, available health care.

They are sitting in their “ivory tower” with their six and seven figure salaries, not having to worry about their own health care; dictating what they think is best for the people in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

It appears to me Mayo has swooped in to fix something that wasn't broken. They claim they are addressing and fixing a health care crisis that appears to be of their own making and using our tax dollars (400 plus million) to line their pockets and build up Rochester and their Destination Medical Center.

A word to the good people in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa who are sitting on the fence or apathetic regarding this cause – or perhaps thinking there is nothing we can do about this situation.

Please ask yourself – are you happy with higher prices, higher insurance premiums and traveling further for services?

I challenge you – come to a Sunday night meeting at the American Legion in Albert Lea. Hear about the positive things that are happening and are being done by SOH and what you might do to help.

THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS AND SAVE OUR HOSPITAL is not giving up or going away! Please get involved!

Marlene A. Jensen

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