Published on August 05, 2021

Essentia Health St Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic now offering rheumatology services

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 50 million adults are diagnosed with a rheumatic disease annually in the U.S. Projections show that number will grow to about 67 million by 2025. Now, Essentia Health is expanding its care options in the Brainerd Lakes area to provide treatment for patients who are diagnosed with these painful and often debilitating diagnoses. This week, we began offering rheumatology services at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic.

On Monday, Aug. 2, Dr. Jeffrey Eickhoff began caring for patients diagnosed with these autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Rheumatic diseases are often grouped under the term “arthritis,” which is used to describe more than 100 diseases and conditions that cause your immune system to attack joints, muscles, bones and more. Dr. Eickhoff is one of two new providers to Essentia who will be offering rheumatology care in central Minnesota.

“I’m proud to be a part of this new service line,” said Dr. Eickhoff. “These diseases can really limit people’s activity and make it hard to do everyday tasks like walking to the mailbox or doing dishes. I’m excited to begin offering this care and to help my patients through diagnosis and treatment of these chronic and progressive diseases, to help them live a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Bill Palmer, Essentia’s vice president of operations, said adding this type of care in the Brainerd area will be uniquely beneficial to the area.

“We know the Brainerd Lakes area is one Minnesota’s most popular playgrounds, especially in the summer months,” said Palmer. “Whether it’s golfing, enjoying the wide variety of lakes here, hiking trails or other outdoor recreation, we have no shortage of people who enjoy being outside and living an active lifestyle. Offering this new service will help us treat patients who are living with a disease that could limit those types of activities and get them back to doing the things they love.”  

Patients do need a referral for this care. Appointments can be made by calling (218) 828-7100. Located at 2024 S 6th St., the clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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