Public hearing for Sanford-Fairview merger held in Bemidji Tuesday

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office hosted a public hearing on the proposed Sanford-Fairview merger Tuesday evening at Bemidji State.

Presentations came from representatives from South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, as well as the University of Minnesota which operates the Fairview-owned teaching hospital.

Public comments varied, including those supportive of the merger, those concerned about patient and employer choice for healthcare in Minnesota, and criticisms of how Sanford Health treats indigenous people.

Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr., played a video that circulated local social media depicting a nurse saying offensive things about Red Lake and Leech Lake natives.

A live stream of the hearing is available online and another opportunity to speak on the proposed merger will be Jan. 31 in Grand Rapids.


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