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Community forum draws crowd

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Mile Bluff's President & CEO, Dara Bartels, spoke to members of the New Lisbon Community about some of the exciting changes that are on the horizon.

On Wednesday, February 15, Mile Bluff’s President & CEO Dara Bartels hosted a community forum in New Lisbon.  She took the opportunity to expand on the information she shared during a similar event in December.   

Those in attendance were updated on the remodeling projects taking place at the medical center’s main campus in Mauston, the plans being discussed for the use of the former Shopko building in Mauston, and Mile Bluff’s plans and strategies for services in New Lisbon.   

As previously reported, Mile Bluff’s Raabe’s Pharmacy will be moving from downtown, into New Lisbon Family Medical Center.  The transition comes after thorough discussions on how to address the issues of workforce shortages and the need for building repairs.   

“While change can be difficult, it is necessary to grow” stated Bartels.  “We are excited about what these changes will bring to the New Lisbon community.”   

She went on to share that a new business is already slated to purchase the downtown space, that pharmacy services will once again be available on Saturdays, and that drive-through prescription pick-up will be available at the new location – which makes it convenient for pharmacy customers to continue to use the service even if they are not patients at Mile Bluff's clinic.  “These things would not be possible without this change” explained Bartels.  

Although the response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, there was concern raised that the gift shop part of the business would not be moving into the new location.  Bartels explained that the relocation is not about taking a gift store away from the community, but that it’s about doing what’s needed to ensure that pharmacy services are still available in New Lisbon. 

Mile Bluff currently offers pharmacy services at three of its other clinics – in Mauston, Elroy and Necedah.  A technician is on-site to dispense prescriptions and sell over-the-counter products.  And, through video conferencing equipment, customers are connected with a pharmacist from Mile Bluff’s Phillips Pharmacy to review medications and have questions answered.  

There are a lot of details that need to be worked through before the changes can go into effect in New Lisbon.  Those include the final sale of the downtown facility and the remodeling of the clinic, as well as the plan for retaining all of Raabe’s current employees within the Mile Bluff system.  The hope is to have the transition completed this summer.  Plans will be shared as they are made moving forward.  You can stay up-to-date through Mile Bluff's Facebook page.