Fairview Merges With Grand Rapids Hospital
Fairview Health Services expanded its Iron Range presence at the start of the New Year with an agreement to take over ownership of Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital.
Staffing at Grand Itasca will remain unchanged, the two health care providers said, aside from three Fairview representatives joining the Grand Itasca’s existing 12-member board of directors. In addition, no cash will trade hands as part of the deal, as Grand Rapids-based Grand Itasca becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Fairview.
“For Grand Itasca, becoming part of the Fairview system offers many opportunities,” Mike Youso, CEO of Grand Itasca, said in a statement. “This relationship provides access to specialty care through Fairview and University of Minnesota Health and the opportunity to expand our clinical services to better serve our community.”
Youso told the Star Tribune that, as part of the deal, Fairview would make investments in clinical services at Grand Itasca, including its oncology and cardiology departments. Minneapolis-based Fairview, which operates six hospitals in the state—including one in the nearby city of Hibbing—will also use its size to negotiate better health insurance payment rates and vendor contracts for the smaller Grand Itasca clinic.
Furthermore, Fairview CEO James Hereford said, “With two sites in northern Minnesota, we can more effectively recruit new specialty care physicians who live and practice in the community. This allows us to provide more advanced care close to home.”
The Grand Itasca deal marks Hereford’s first major strategic move since taking over as head of Fairview in mid-December. Previously, Hereford was the chief operations officer at Stanford Health Care in California.
What remains to be seen is if Fairview still plans to follow through on its intended merger with UCare. In September, Fairview said the deal had temporarily been put on hold as it wanted to install a new CEO before moving forward.