Sanford Health withdraws from Fairview merger discussions

7:48 AM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A possible merger between South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Fairview Health Systems is officially broken off.

A public hearing on Sunday raised questions from Attorney General Lori Swanson and University of Minnesota officials about how discussions between the two sides were handled.

"I am now concerned that the good reputation of Sanford may be injured by a process that only intended the highest of ideals and integrity," said Kelby Krabbenhoft in a statement.

The U of M, which transferred ownership of its medical center to Fairview in 1997, questioned the involvement of Sanford on Sunday and even offered to buy Fairview itself.

"We understand why they would choose to step back at this time, but the news comes as a disappointment," Chuck Mooty, Fairview interim CEO and Fairview Board Chair, said in a news release.

Swanson called for the hearing in hopes of getting a more transparent understanding about how the merger would work, but the questions raised were enough to alter Sanford's plans.

Krabbenhoft said that Sanford Health has a philosophical policy of "only going where we are invited."

Mooty said that Fairview will engage in talks with the U of M in a collaborative process to strengthen the existing partnership. Fairview will also move forward in its search for a CEO.

Krabbenhoft said that Sanford will only reengage if Fairview and the U of M have sufficiently resolved the existing issues.

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