MNA Members File Petition Over Essentia-CHI Takeover

Media Advisory


Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709


Workers Worried Patients Will Lose Care Close to Home

(St. Paul) – May 3, 2021 – Nurse and healthcare worker members of the Minnesota Nurses Association have filed a petition with Essentia Health to notify them they are concerned the company’s takeover of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) hospitals will result in less access to patient care, not more.

In January, Essentia Health and Common Spirit, CHI’s parent company, signed a letter of agreement where Essentia would assume control of 14 facilities and numerous clinics throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. Essentia already took over Mercy Hospital, in Moose Lake, Minn. in 2020.

Nearly 700 healthcare workers from both CHI and Essentia hospitals have signed the petition, including nurses from:

  • CHI St. Gabriel’s – Little Falls, MN
  • CHI Lake Wood Health – Baudette, MN
  • CHI St. Joseph’s – Park Rapids, MN
  • CHI St. Alexius – Bismarck, ND
  • EH Duluth – St. Mary’s Medical Center and Miller Dwan – Duluth, MN
  • EH St Mary’s Hospital – Superior – Superior, WI
  • EH St. Joseph’s – Brainerd, MN
  • EH Sandstone – Sandstone, MN
  • EH Deer River – Deer River, MN
  • EH Virginia (and Unit B) – Virginia, MN
  • EH Moose Lake – Moose Lake, MN

MNA members from the various hospitals will discuss their concerns at a virtual press conference, and they will take questions about next steps to ensure both patients and workers will be cared for during and after this merger process.

“We’ve seen what Essentia did when they took over the hospital in Moose Lake,” said Tristin Eastvold, a Registered Nurse at the Moose Lake hospital. “Ever since the takeover, we’ve lost numerous staff, causing shortages in how we care for patients. We don’t want CHI’s hospitals and clinics to lay off workers, cut the services they offer, or close entirely.”

When:      Thursday, May 6, 10-11 a.m.
Where:     Zoom platform*. Press Conference can be accessed here:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 948 4041 2580
Passcode: 981425

Who:        Registered Nurses of Essentia Health and CHI

Chris Rubesch, RN Essentia St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth, MN
Tristin Eastvold, RN Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake, MN
Leslie McKamey, RN St. Alexius Hospital, Bismarck, ND
Cameron Sharp, RN CHI St. Gabriel’s, Little Falls, MN

What:       Filing of Petition to management of Essentia Health
Why:        To set forth concerns over Essentia-CHI takeover and patient care, workers’ futures


*Note:  Please email or click the link ahead of time to sign up if possible. Each participant in the press conference will need to be admitted. Journalists can also submit questions to be read aloud to the participants to answer by emailing

1 Comment

  1. I heard Essentia is not taking over CHI now.

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