With the new healthcare center project in full swing, Tri-County Health Care is beginning a transition to the name Astera Health.

Tri-County partnered with Legato Healthcare Marketing to reimagine their name, logo and marketing assets over the past year. The new name and logo were selected after months of deliberation and collaboration among a core group, with representatives from all levels of the organization including the board of directors, according to a Tri-County news release.

“As we went into it, we were looking for a new naming associated with the opportunity of our building, trying to eliminate some of the challenges that we’ve had and really trying to create something that is very unique and different,” said Joel Beiswenger, president and CEO of Tri-County Health Care.

Tri-County Health Care began the transition to Astera Health in August 2021. The name change ties with the healthcare center building project, which is slated to open in early 2023.
Contributed/ Astera Health
Tri-County Health Care began the transition to Astera Health in August 2021. The name change ties with the healthcare center building project, which is slated to open in early 2023. Contributed/ Astera Health

But what does Astera mean? The word comes from the Greek word for star.

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“As we think about Minnesota as the North Star state, as we think about how health care works these days in our primary care world and our coordination of care for patients across our system we’re connecting them with specialists and other referral sources, the stars are a guiding force in the universe … as a navigation guide so to us the connection to that is important,” Beiswenger said.

The new name will be introduced over the next two years through the opening of the new center in early 2023. During the process, Tri-County Health Care will keep their name with the subtitle, “transforming into Astera Health” until July 2022. Then the name will become Astera Health with the subtitle, “formerly Tri-County Health Care.” Tri-County will also work on legal, contractual and business modifications, according to the release.

With the current name, Beiswenger said the hyphen in Tri-County and the spelling of health care as one word instead of two have caused technical issues in their legal and regulatory paperwork. The unique name also creates the opportunity for a trademark designation that has not been possible with the more generic name of Tri-County, which is used by other organizations in the area, state and nation, according to Beiswenger.

The organization changed names when the current building replaced Wesley Hospital in 1974 with the name becoming Tri-County Hospital. Many years later, the name shifted to Tri-County Health Care, though this change did not stick as well with people referring to the organization as Tri-County Hospital still, according to Beiswenger.

The new name timed with the building project allows for cost benefits that would have otherwise been an expensive project, as Beiswenger said. The Astera Health branding will be printed on signs inside and outside the center, which previously would have been printed with Tri-County Health Care info. The Hwy 71 building will have support services and staff offices that requires removing the exterior signage.

A virtual town hall for the general public is scheduled for Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. to address questions and concerns. The town hall will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and can be accessed from their website.

Building project update

The new center itself is moving along “really good,” as Beiswenger said, with the footings 35-40% complete as of last week. The addition of structural steel beams is the primary focus for the next month.

A crane lifts a large steel beam into place at the site of the new healthcare center Monday, Aug. 23, west of Wadena.
Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
A crane lifts a large steel beam into place at the site of the new healthcare center Monday, Aug. 23, west of Wadena. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

In September, pre-fabricated walls will start to be installed on the steel followed by the roof installation in mid-October. Each of the projects start in the north central part of the building where mechanical, plumbing and electrical will be housed before working through the inpatient, emergency room and public areas of the center.

Heading into 2022, the building should be enclosed by January and the Greenwood Avenue and Hwy 10 projects with the city of Wadena, Wadena County, Otter Tail County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation will occur from spring through the remainder of the year.

To learn more about the new building, visit tchc.org/build2023.