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Will the Destination Medical Center have a regional impact?

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Jeff Gorfine

Over the past 25 years, Rochester has evolved into a regional economic and cultural center, whose impact goes well beyond its city borders. Every day workers from surrounding communities commute to Rochester for employment. They in turn shop for goods and services that are not often provided in their smaller home towns.

So, will the DMC have an impact on these surrounding communities? Absolutely! Will DMC planning and implementation be conducted in a regional context? It doesn’t look that way!

For more than a quarter century many citizens and leaders from southeast Minnesota have called for a more broad-based approach to growth and development within our region. These calls have, in many ways, gone unanswered. My fear is that this is happening again with DMC.

DMC is a unique and groundbreaking undertaking that will have an enormous social, economic, and ecological impact on the many townships, counties, and communities surrounding Rochester. Some of the impacts which would merit regional deliberation, and planning are: population and employment trends, physical and social infrastructure, and natural resources and the environment – to name a few. As the reader can easily see, the DMC is not simply about economic development.

My challenge to the leadership of the DMC is to do the right thing, the practical, commonsense thing: think and plan regionally. Be comprehensive and work rigorously for the common good of all the communities that will contribute to the ultimate success of the DMC; a success that may truly make the DMC a model for preventive and holistic health care. Because the plans you put in place today will have an enormous impact on southeast Minnesota in the years to come.

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