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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Together, we can do more for Bemidji

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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We are part of The Trust Project.

Last week (during a Jan. 17 public meeting) we had the opportunity to hear from members of the greater Bemidji community and share our vision for a combined health system.

Thank you for your hospitality and your commitment to making Bemidji a place where every person can be healthy and thrive.

We heard many questions and ideas — all are important. Your priorities are our priorities; your concerns are our concerns. We are grateful for the thoughtful comments as they show a deep commitment to meeting this community’s needs.

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We have an opportunity to connect more people to more of the care they need, when they need it, no matter where they live.

The transformation of health care in Bemidji over the last decade is evident and we look forward to building on that to improve and save even more lives in this region.

We are committed to improving access to specialty care; prioritizing culturally intelligent care practices; and tackling the barriers like food access, housing and education that can make true well-being difficult to achieve.

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Our goals are ambitious, without question, but this moment demands the kind of bold vision we shared this week. This community deserves it. Together, we can provide even better care to meet Bemidji’s needs today, and into the future.

Bill Gassen is the president and CEO of Sanford Health and James Hereford is the president and CEO of Fairview Health Services.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.