October 1, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS — A controversial hospital merger involving one of the largest healthcare providers in the Upper Midwest will not be happening.

Fairview Health Services announced Thursday that it will not continue the merger process with South Dakota-based Sanford Health.

The merger, which was set to wrap up in March, had been delayed multiple times after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and the University of Minnesota, a partner of Fairview, asked for more time to review its potential magnitude.

Fairview President and CEO James Hereford says they determined it in their best interest to discontinue the merger process due to a lack of support from “certain stakeholders.”

 “While this may not have been the outcome we desired, we remain committed to our people and to continue advancing the important work we do every day in caring for those in need,” Hereford said.

A spokesperson for Sanford Health told WCCO that it initiated the decision to discontinue the merger process.

Bill Gassen, President and CEO of Sanford Health released a statement on the canceled merger, saying in part, “This is the right decision for our patients and residents, our people and the communities we serve. We remain committed to providing world-class care to patients across our footprint. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from many Minnesotans who share our vision to invest in health care delivery and enhance access to care in both rural and urban areas.” 

The two healthcare providers had crafted a similar deal 10 years ago, but that plan was ultimately blocked by legislators.

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