Latest Developments in Fairview Discussions
Last week, I publicly advanced a vision for a University of Minnesota Academic Health System. This was done with great thought and the strong support of our Board of Regents and leadership in the Academic Health Center. I am gratified by the positive response from our physicians, the broader campus community, and others.
Unfortunately, I was informed yesterday afternoon by interim Fairview CEO Chuck Mooty that Fairview’s board will not entertain the University of Minnesota’s proposal at this time. This news is disappointing, given my strong belief that the status quo is not sustainable.
You likely read the coverage of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s public hearing on Sunday about the potential merger of Sanford Health and Fairview. University officials presented our comments about that merger and I provided this written statement. Subsequent to the Attorney General’s hearing, legislators introduced various bills aimed at preventing a Sanford/Fairview merger. Yesterday Sanford announced that it is withdrawing from merger talks with Fairview.
To advance our proposal, we explored a legislative option that could provide additional support and infrastructure. However, it became clear that it is too late in the legislative session to introduce legislation of this scope and importance.
Clearly, we are operating in a rapidly evolving landscape. Despite yesterday’s news from Fairview, we are very close to achieving our goals to establish an integrated operations structure around the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Amplatz Children’s Hospital, the yet-to-be-built Ambulatory Care Clinic, University of Minnesota Physicians, and the Medical School. Fairview leaders have assured me that they support completing this agreement and we anticipate being able to finalize it and bring it to our Board of Regents for review at the May meeting.
Fairview’s leadership and I are also committed to developing a shared vision for enhancing clinical care, research, and education. To that end, we will begin a joint planning process and our executive teams will come together as a first step in late April.
Thank you for your continued support and interest.
Eric W. Kaler