Essentia Health’s Vision Northland Project Progresses

Patients will be able to begin utilizing the facility by the third quarter of 2023.

DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia Health’s Vision northland project is continuing to make strides. The hospital’s main goal is to build a facility that has longevity.

Dozens of construction crews have been working tirelessly to make the Vision Northland project a reality.

“This building is going to outlast me. it’s a landmark. It will be a fixture of Duluth for a century to come,” said Phil Johnson, the lead project manager from McGough Construction.

For some of those workers, being a part of the project is about fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

“It’s very exciting and historic being a local Duluth guy. It was always a dream of mine to build this someday when there were rumors of this a long time ago,” said Johnson.

While the Vision Northland project is helping make dreams come true, the purpose is also to provide a better future for patient treatment options in the Northland.

“We are committed to the health of the Northland and bringing quality care to the Northland,” said Robert Erickson, lead physician for the project.

Making that commitment happen means putting an extension on the original timeline.

The master plan for the project was created more than three years ago. and since then Essentia has decided to further expand its footprint.

“We believe in northern Minnesota. We believe we are an integral part of northern Minnesota. We believe that we need to have the facilities to match the quality of care we give to northern Minnesota,” said Erickson.
the new facility is now expected to cover around one million square feet.

One major feature is dedicating an entire floor to women’s health and pediatric care.

Other amenities will include a new cafeteria, chapel, and an area for families to congregate while waiting.

Completing a project of this caliber can have many challenges and the pandemic has brought on quite a few necessary changes.

“We had to get a new rhythm. We obviously added a lot more cleanliness requirements. We do have screenings for our employees and we limit the amount of people we allow on-site,” said Johnson.

Throughout all the challenges, the end goal for Essentia Health and the construction team has always been to build a facility that will last a lifetime and one to be proud of.

“To be able to drive down Superior Street, be in my hometown, and being able to say I built this is truly an honor,” said Johnson.

The new hospital is expected to open to patients starting in 2023.

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