Unity Hospital Campus Gains New Fridley Medical Center
Massage and acupuncture at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute-Unity Hospital are available to all.
In the span of a year, the former Fridley Medical Center on Osborne Road has been reduced to surface parking for Unity Hospital next door—and a new medical center has risen nearby to replace it.
The new two-story, $14 million Fridley Medical Center opened last month and houses Multicare Associates, a clinic owned by its health care providers which also has locations in Blaine and Roseville.
"This was going to be built on the Columbia Arena site [south on University Avenue]," said Fridley Community Development Director Scott Hickok. But that 2009 plan, for a smaller, 50,000 square-foot building, died when a co-developer backed out.
The Unity Hospital campus site attracted more businesses interested in moving in. Multicare is just one of several new tenants in the 60,000 square-foot medical center to offer new medical services to the Fridley community. Virginia Piper Cancer Institute-Unity Hospital, owned by Allina, opened a satellite clinic in November as well. It's the first satellite of the original Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, said Public Relations Manager Gloria O'Connell.
The cancer treatment options at the new medical center don't end there. Next to the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute-Unity Hospital is Minnesota Oncology, a clinic of cancer-treatment specialists that's part of a local chain in the Twin Cities. Also in the center are a pharmacy and separate clinics for pain and physical therapy.
The general public can make appointments for a massages or acupuncture at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute-Unity Hospital, according to Melissa Berggren, an Allina spokesperson at Unity.
The services are available to members of the public even if they aren't trying to relieve the pains of cancer, Berggren said.
The new construction gave the medical center an opportunity to make a number of smaller changes for patients as well. The demolition and construction gave Unity Hospital an opportunity to reconfigure the parking pattern and traffic flow around its campus, as well as adding handicapped parking spaces, Berggren said.
Another fix: removing the stairs that used to lead to the emergency room entrance to make the entrance more accessible.
The campus also now contains a community garden where Unity Hospital rents space to neighborhood residents for raising vegetables.
And now encircling the Unity Hospital campus is a new Wellness Path—a 1-mile loop that patients and neighborhood residents can use year-round.
"We hope people will use it as a destination," Berggren said, adding that planned landscape additions for the path will beautify the route this spring.