Essentia, community leaders celebrate start of Vision Northland

Ground was broken Wednesday on Essentia Health’s $800 million Vision Northland project. 

Vision Northland represents promise for the future, said Dr. David Herman, allowing the health care system to meet their evolving needs at a state-of-the-art facility and with cutting-edge technology. 

“This project is about much more than a building,” Dr. Herman told the crowd. “It’s a promise and a platform to provide the highest level of care, long into the future. It’s a catalyst for additional economic growth in our region,” he said.

“This is such an exciting moment for the City of Duluth,” added Mayor Emily Larson. “We are going to move forward together with this big, bold vision.”

The structure will rise 12 stories above East Second Street and overlook Lake Superior. The design will feature single-patient rooms, which have been shown to reduce the risk of infection during hospitalization, and larger operating spaces that will accommodate modern medical equipment, Essentia said in a news release.

“It signifies a transformation of the care we provide,” Dr. Erickson said. “From the perspective of a caregiver like me, Vision Northland will allow us to practice in a facility that has been designed with our patients and their families in mind. It will allow us to be more efficient, more effective and more collaborative. It will allow us to provide the latest treatments.”

Today’s program also included a $10,000 donation from Essentia to Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, which will go toward the promotion of healthy lifestyles among the school’s students.

Vision Northland, designed by architectural firm EwingCole, will include 928,000 square feet of new construction. McGough Construction Co. is Essentia’s construction partner.