Ellison schedules 4 community meetings on Fairview, Sanford merger

Four community meetings in four different parts of the state have been scheduled for next month as state officials consider a proposed merger between two major health systems.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office on Monday released the schedule for the public meetings, which he said will help his office listen to Minnesotans’ views of the proposed combination of Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health.

The two health systems announced their plan last month. The following week, Ellison said his office was investigating the proposed merger and wanted to hear from Minnesotans.

Anyone wishing to submit feedback can do so through this online form, by leaving a voicemail by calling 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787 and pressing option No. 2 or by talking to an analyst by calling the same numbers and pressing option No. 1.

The community meetings are another way for Minnesotans to voice their opinions on the matter. They’re all open to the public and will be livestreamed on Ellison’s Facebook page. See the full schedule below.

  • Jan. 10, 6-8 p.m. at the Department of Revenue, Room 200, in St. Paul
  • Jan. 17, 6-8 p.m. at Holson Memorial Union Ballroom on the campus of Bemidji State University
  • Jan. 25, 6-8 p.m. at the Worthington High School cafeteria
  • Jan. 31, 6-8 p.m. at Ives Studio at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids

“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. I hope everyone who has thoughts, comments, or concerns to share about the merger will attend a public meeting or leave us a comment,” Ellison said in a statement. “Every Minnesotan is an expert in their own healthcare and in affording their own lives.”

RELATED: CEOs of Fairview, Sanford eager to convince AG Ellison, lawmakers to approve merger

The merger nearly happened a decade ago but was later withdrawn amid concerns from then-Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and state lawmakers. The CEOs say, this time, the combined operation would help improve patient care.