Allina Health will open a new neighborhood-based primary care clinic in Saint Paul’s West End neighborhood this month. Its United Family Physicians Clinic at 233 Grand Ave. will also serve as a new clinical practice and training site for United Family Medicine’s residency program.

The new clinic is located near United Hospital, the residency program’s core teaching site. The program trains 21 family medicine residents a year, and many graduates go on to serve in clinical settings throughout Minnesota. Family medicine physicians are increasingly in short supply in the state.

The teaching program replaces a longtime residency program within United Family Medicine (UFM), which operates its main clinic on West Seventh Street and Randolph Avenue. Some people expressed their displeasure that the residency program was dropped there and the clinic lost many doctors. Clinic leaders claimed the changes were needed to retain federal funding, but some elected officials have called for an investigation of the clinic’s practices. Without the residency program, UFM is moving to directly employ physicians and other health care providers.

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Allina, meanwhile, is looking forward to the opening of its new clinic. “Allina Health has deep roots in the West Seventh neighborhood,” said Sara Criger, senior vice president of Allina Health Operations and president of United Hospital. “With the opening of this new clinic, we’re deepening our commitment to serve the health care needs of the community, while providing a new training site for Allina Health’s well-respected residency program.”

The clinic will provide primary health care for patients of all ages, as well as mental health and addiction services and obstetrics. It also plans to continue providing access to comprehensive health care for low-income and medically underserved people.

— Jane McClure

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