Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Bemidji residents weigh in on proposed Sanford-Fairview merger


January 19, 2023

Minnesota Attorney General's Office, Star Tribune

Clockwise from top left: David Hengel, Julie Laitala, Anne Schwagerl and Reed Olson were among speakers at a public meeting Tuesday held by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in Bemidji. The meeting addressed the proposed merger between Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health.

Bemidji residents voiced strong support and, in some cases, spirited opposition Tuesday night for Sanford Health and its proposed mega-merger with Fairview Health Services - reflecting how hospitals can deeply influence life in smaller communities.

About two-thirds of speakers lauded the South Dakota-based health system and said Sanford has made good on commitments to north-central Minnesota since it took over the town's hospital in 2011.

There were dissenting voices, however, including concerns about Sanford's approach to labor unions as well as questions about the merger impacts on health care costs and choice.


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