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MN Attorney General Ellison opens public comment on proposed Fairview-Sanford merger

A dedicated web form is now available on the Attorney General's website where the public may leave their comments.
Credit: AP Images

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Tuesday that the public can now comment on the proposed merger between Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health.

Ellison says he's heard many concerns from "nurses and doctors, from farmers and rural communities, from other workers who are worried about their jobs," according to a news release from the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

The proposed merger was announced Nov. 15, with both health services having signed a non-binding letter of intent to combine.

The Attorney General's Office opened an investigation a short time after the announcement.

On Tuesday, Ellison announced a dedicated web form was created on his office's website for the community's input on the proposed merger.

Ellison also announced that he will hold three or four public meetings around the state in the future. Dates, times, and locations have not yet been determined.

"It's my job to listen — and we want to hear more, which is why we've set up dedicated new ways for all Minnesotans to share their thoughts and concerns with us about this proposed merger, and why we'll be holding public meetings around the state early next year. We're especially interested in hearing from people who believe they will be directly impacted by this proposed merger. But we want to hear from everyone, because everyone is an expert in their own healthcare and in affording their lives," Ellison said in the release.  

The Attorney General's Office says the public comments will help in the legal evaluation of the proposed merger. 

"Comments or information that members of the public submit as part of these civil investigations will generally be treated as protected nonpublic data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act," according to the release.

The proposed merger would create one of the largest health care providers in the country.

Sanford is one of the largest rural health systems in the U.S. and Fairview is one of biggest in the Twin Cities.

The governing boards of both health systems anticipate the deal could be done in 2023.

Public input can also be communicated by phone at (651) 296-3353 or (800) 657-3787.

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