About Welia Health

New, in so many ways.

In August of 2019, we embarked on a new journey. With our Mora Campus expansion complete, we were celebrating a new era in healthcare—and celebrating under a new name.

Since 2011, we had been known as FirstLight Health System after changing our name from Kanabec Hospital. When trademark concerns about the FirstLight name came to our attention, we made the choice to find a new name.

This gave us the fresh and rare opportunity to re-examine who we were, and, more importantly, where we were going. We had always been an incredible place for care, as borne out in state and national metrics as well as patient and staff surveys. Our new name—Welia Health—didn’t change that. It simply helped us claim who we are in a clear, new way.

Welcome to Welia Health

To help encapsulate what makes us us, we asked our staff and our communities what sets us apart. Here’s what defines our commitment to great care at Welia Health:

  • Wellness focused
  • Engaged communities
  • Leading change
  • Innovative care
  • Always welcoming

These five phrases above drive us as we work to change people’s lives in remarkable ways. They define us at our authentic best. The first letters of that list also spell our name. We want to carry these ideas with us every day so that we continually raise the bar with the things that set us apart.

What’s in a name?

There are a lot of things we like about the Welia Health name: It’s short, memorable, and easy to say and spell.

Most of all, it feels like us—warm and welcoming—and speaks to wellness, which is at the core of our work. Like our tagline—“Live life well”—we want our patients living life to the fullest, wherever they are on the journey.

In Gaelic, “Welia” means “to see.” We strive to see every patient—the whole person—for who they are. And for an organization seeking the best solutions and known for being forward-looking, “to see” feels right.

So welcome to Welia Health. Simple, short, easy—and us.

Details about our organization

Welia Health was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 2021 and has a primary service area including Kanabec and Pine Counties.  It is a critical access hospital located in Mora with clinics in Mora, Pine City and Hinckley. The hospital serves East-Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin with primary and secondary medical services, with a state-of-the-art four-bay surgery suite, 24-hour emergency department, an EMA/Paramedic-staffed ambulance service, a newly remodeled birthing center, and many more services to meet the needs of our communities.

Welia Health performs approximately 2,300 surgeries, delivers 175 babies, manages 11,000 emergency department visits, 91,000 clinic visits, and 950 in-patient days each year.* Over the past five years, the Welia Health team has grown to over 500 employees, including family practice providers, nurses, a wide range of specialists, physical therapists, pharmacists, and administrative personnel.

Fully accredited by the Joint Commission and a long-standing wellness partner within the communities it serves, Welia Health is a teaching site for Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) students, it precepts Physician Assistant (PA) and Nurse Practitioner (NP) students, and its pharmacists serve as adjunct faculty for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Medical students are welcomed for clinical educational experience in certified assistant, nursing, laboratory, radiology, health information, and nurse anesthetist programs.

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*Last updated September 2021