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Attorney General Keith Ellison to host Bemidji meeting on proposed merger of Sanford, Fairview

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will hold a public meeting in Bemidji on Tuesday, Jan. 17, about the proposed merger of Sanford Health with Fairview Health Services.

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will hold a public meeting in Bemidji on Tuesday, Jan. 17, about the proposed merger of Sanford Health with Fairview Health Services.
Pioneer file photo
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BEMIDJI — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will hold a public meeting in Bemidji about the proposed merger between Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services.

The meeting, which is one of four Ellison will hold throughout the state, will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Beaux Arts Ballroom at Bemidji State University.

“It’s my job to listen to Minnesotans. Many have already responded to my request for comment about the proposed Fairview/Sanford merger, and I want to hear from more,” Ellison said. “I hope everyone who has thoughts, comments or concerns to share about the merger will attend a public meeting or leave us a comment.”

The other meetings Ellison will hold will be in St. Paul, Worthington and Grand Rapids. Each of the meetings are open to the public and will also be livestreamed on Ellison’s Facebook page.

In addition to the public meetings, the attorney general’s office has also set up a web page dedicated to the proposed merger with options for input.

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Minnesotans who wish to communicate their comments or concerns by phone may leave voice mail in a dedicated mailbox by calling (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota) and pressing option 2 or may speak to an analyst live by calling the same numbers and pressing option 1.

The attorney general’s office will use the input that the public submits to evaluate the proposed merger under existing laws, as well as to determine opportunities for changes or improvements to public policy.

Comments submitted by the public as a part of these civil investigations will generally be treated as “protected nonpublic data” under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

Sanford Health, the country’s largest rural health care provider, announced its intention to merge with Fairview Health Services, a major provider in the Twin Cities, in November.

The two entities had previously attempted a merger in 2013 that fell through after concerns were raised by the public and legislature.

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For questions about a staff report, call (218) 333-9796 or email news@bemidjipioneer.com.
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