FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Proposed merger would put combined corporate health giant under command of Sanford, which recently paid a $49.5 million golden parachute to CEO who spread disinformation
Announcement follows another proposed corporate merger between Essentia Health and Marshfield Clinic Health System
(St. Paul) – November 15, 2022 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) today announced their opposition to the proposed merger of M Health Fairview and Sanford Health. The move would put control of the new healthcare conglomerate under the control of Sanford executive leadership in South Dakota, the health chain that recently paid out a $49.5 million golden parachute to their disgraced former CEO after he spread medical disinformation. Today’s announcement follows another recent proposed merger, between Essentia Health and Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic Health System, which MNA nurses also oppose.
The following is a statement from Ericka Helling, RN, MNA Chair – M Health Fairview Southdale; Ami Tillemans, RN, MNA Chair – M Health Fairview West Bank; Dawn Remus, RN, MNA Chair – M Health Fairview West Bank; Jessica Mistic, RN, MNA Chair, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center; Jessica Eck, RN, MNA Chair, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center; Jodi Walker-O’Beirne, RN, MNA Chair, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center; and Chris Rubesch, RN, MNA First Vice President, Essentia Health.
“MNA Nurses strongly oppose these proposed corporate mergers by our hospital CEOs at the same time as they continue to close hospitals, pay millions to themselves and other top executives, and deny nurses and patients the resources needed to ensure safe staffing and quality patient care at the bedside.
“In the last three years, M Health Fairview closed two hospitals in the middle of a pandemic, including the state’s only dedicated COVID-19 hospital, at the same time CEO James Hereford took a 90 percent raise to more than $3.5 million in annual compensation. Sanford health paid a $49.5 million golden parachute to their disgraced CEO after he spread medical disinformation. And Essentia Health CEO David Herman took a $1 million raise in 2020, to now make more than $2.6 million each year.
“As the CEOs of M Health Fairview, Sanford Health and Essentia continue to withhold the resources needed to ensure safe staffing and quality patient care at the bedside, they have repeatedly made clear that their priorities are firmly focused on corporate expansion and their own bottom lines. Nurses have one concern: to ensure quality care for our patients. That starts at the bedside and extends to our communities. Corporate mergers and healthcare monopolies threaten to increase costs for patients and often result in hospital and clinic closures.
“Minnesota nurses oppose these mergers and demand a seat at the table in merger talks to ensure that the best interests of the community and nurses are included in decisions that will affect care access and quality of care. Essentia, M Health Fairview and Sanford must commit to full financial transparency as the health chains budget for corporate acquisitions over patient care; hospital CEOs must also commit to keep all community healthcare facilities open in the event of any merger or acquisition.”