Collapse of planned Essentia merger a win for patients, workers and Northland communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sam Fettig
(c) 612-741-0662
sam.fettig@mnnurses.org

Lauren Bloomquist
(c) 651-376-9709
lauren.bloomquist@mnnurses.org

MNA nurses leading efforts to check corporate power in healthcare and keep care in our communities  

(Duluth) – January 5, 2024 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) today celebrated the collapse of the proposed corporate healthcare merger between Essentia Health and Marshfield Clinic Health System. For months, the two healthcare companies have pursued plans to combine, raising concerns among patients and workers that the merger could increase costs and limit access to health services, threaten jobs and working conditions, and consolidate even more corporate control over our healthcare system.

“For years, workers and patients have watched as corporate healthcare executives closed and consolidated critical services, taking jobs and care out of our communities. Thanks to the efforts of MNA nurses and patients, the tide is beginning to turn,” said Chris Rubesch, RN, MNA President. “The defeat of this planned merger is a win against the further corporatization of our healthcare system. MNA nurses will continue to organize, speak out, and take action to put patient needs before corporate greed in our hospitals.”

Since Essentia Health announced its plans to pursue a merger last year, MNA nurses in the Twin Ports have shared testimony in public forums on the proposed merger and organized meetings with state and local elected officials to express their concern about the potential impacts of corporate consolidations on patients and workers. In letters-to-the-editor and public statements and events, MNA nurses organized in our communities to ensure the needs of people come before the bottom line in our healthcare system.

Last year at the Minnesota Legislature, MNA nurses were a driving force behind passage of a new law (HF 402) to provide critical public oversight of proposed hospital mergers like the one considered by Essentia and Marshfield. The law gives state officials the power to regulate mergers based on their impact on patients and workers, and prevents hospital executives from personally profiting from a merger. The new law is an important check on the corporate interests driving proposed healthcare mergers; since it took effect, planned corporate consolidations between Sanford Health and M Health Fairview, and now between Essentia Health and Marshfield Clinic Health System, have been abandoned.

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