Detroit Lakes doctor opens new private practice clinic

Liberty Health, owned by retired Sanford Health doctor Scott Lawrence, offers primary and specialty care in the former seven-day clinic building near Menard’s, at 1361 Wenner Road.

Liberty Clinic 1.JPG
Dr. Scott Lawrence, in an exam room at his new medical clinic in Detroit Lakes.
Nathan Bowe/Tribune

Dr. Scott Lawrence has retired from family practice at Sanford Health and is inviting former and new patients to see him at his own private practice clinic now open in Detroit Lakes.

Liberty Health offers primary and specialty care in the former seven-day clinic building near Menard’s, at 1361 Wenner Road.

An outside look at the Liberty Health Clinic in Detroit Lakes.
Nathan Bowe/Tribune

The new clinic accepts all kinds of health insurance, everything from major private insurance to Medicare.

“I’m trying to be available to every (patient) I’ve seen and everyone looking for a new option,” Lawrence said.

He has always had a soft spot for private practice.


“I grew up in Grand Forks, N.D.” he said. “When I was little, I remember going to get my mom after work. She worked at an independent clinic, Valley Medical. Independent clinics were more common in those days.”

Lawrence graduated from medical school and did his residency at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

“We wanted to stay in the region,” he said. “We were interested in being in this area, and found Detroit Lakes long ago. For 16-and-a half years now we’ve been in Detroit Lakes.”

He and his wife, Rhonda, have three children: Grace attends North Dakota State University and is going into clinical psychiatry; Jackson attends the University of North Dakota and plans on a career in medicine; and Emily is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.

“I’ve always thought about an independent clinic,” he said. “Through the years it’s been a consideration all the way through.”

That’s a tough dream to follow right out of medical school, but Lawrence is now 51 years old with an established practice and a family well-grounded in the community.

“As the kids got older, the opportunity presented itself,” he said. “Looking at Detroit Lakes, I thought a new option for health care would probably be well-received."

Liberty Health3.JPG
The Liberty Health Clinic sign, with Menard's in the background.
Nathan Bowe/Tribune

He hopes that his patients will follow him to his new practice.


“I feel I’ve developed good long-term relationships that will be the key to success,” he said. “We’ll definitely take new patients, but I’d like to see all my old patients come with.”

Liberty Health Clinic is part of the Fargo-based Heartland Healthcare Network for independent providers, which contracts with a number of private health insurance companies. Lawrence also is credentialed with other insurance companies to make sure his patients are covered if they opt to follow him to his new clinic.

Other medical professionals practicing at Liberty Health Clinic are Certified Physician Assistant Renae Miller, who brings experience in cardiology, emergency medicine and family medicine; Licensed Practical Nurse Wendi Weets; certified medical assistant Mindy Bucholz; and front office worker Vonda Erb.

The new clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. People of all ages and all conditions are welcome, Lawrence said.

His patients don’t all live in Detroit Lakes — they come from northern Becker County, Moorhead, across Otter Tail County and elsewhere.

“Detroit Lakes has a large patient base, but there’s an element in town that comes and goes, so you’re always meeting new people. That’s a fun part of the job," he said.

He chose the name Liberty Health Clinic because it seemed to match his new endeavor: “With the transition from a large system to an independent clinic, I thought it was a bit of a fit there."

Early in his medical career, Lawrence considered going into specialty medicine, but found that he liked being able to help people coming in with a mix of ailments.


“I really do like the variety of family medicine,” he said, adding that when it comes to helping people live their best lives, “the relationship is really key. Healthcare kind of turns into a running conversation.”

What To Read Next
Get Local