A visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, usually means about an eight-hour road trip for people in Western KELOLAND. Now, some patients, can have access to that care without ever leaving Rapid City.

Regional Health will become Monument Health in January. This is part of re-branding the hospital, based on survey results and focus groups.

However, this is more than just a name change. Monument is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which is a group of hospitals approved by the Mayo Clinic. What does this mean for you?

According to Monument, patients and their physicians have access to Mayo’s knowledge, expertise and resources.

“Mayo Clinic did a comprehensive evaluation that included an in-depth review of the Regional Health (soon to be Monument Health) organization, its clinical and business practices, and its quality, safety and service efforts,” Dr. David Hayes, medical director for Mayo Clinic Care Network, said. “Patients experience the confidence of being able to access Mayo’s medical expertise through their trusted local doctor, with the comfort and convenience of staying close to home.”

Despite the new name and re-brand, hospital leaders say Monument Health will continue employ more than 4,500 physicians and caregivers in 20 Western South Dakota and Eastern Wyoming communities.

KELOLAND’s Sydney Thorson is giving you a deeper look at what this change means for the health care system and patients. You can see that story later today on KELOLAND News at ten, and online on KELOLAND.com.