Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Almost 700 health care workers sign petition expressing concerns about Essentia acquisition of CHI facilities

Health care workers at Essentia and Catholic Health Initiatives have signed the petition to express their concern about potential changes in access to care when Essentia acquires the facilities.

File: Mercy Hospital Moose Lake.jpg
Essentia Health partnered last summer with Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake, pictured in April 2020. (File / Cloquet Pine Journal)
We are part of The Trust Project.

Nearly 700 nurses and health care workers have filed a petition with Essentia to express concerns about Essentia Health's takeover of CommonSpirit's Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) hospitals.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Nurses Association, health care workers at Essentia and CHI worry that the acquisition will result in less access to patient care. The health systems signed a letter of intent in early January for Essentia to acquire 17 CommonSpirit facilities in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Essentia partnered with Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake last summer, which registered nurse Tristin Eastvold believes hurt the quality of care the hospital provides.

“Ever since the takeover, we’ve lost numerous staff, causing shortages in how we care for patients," Eastvold said in the MNA release. "We don’t want CHI’s hospitals and clinics to lay off workers, cut the services they offer or close entirely.”

MNA members who have signed the petition work at both CHI and Essentia facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

ADVERTISEMENT

Essentia Health released the following statement in response to the petition:

"In January, Essentia Health and CommonSpirit Health signed a Letter of Intent for CommonSpirit-owned facilities operating under the CHI brand in North Dakota and Minnesota to join Essentia. We continue to negotiate as this was the first step in reaching a formal agreement to transfer ownership of these facilities.

"Essentia recognizes the important role that health care plays in the autonomy and vibrancy of rural communities. This, along with our commitment to providing high-quality care, will help ensure the long-term success of these facilities should an agreement move forward. This would strengthen those communities by benefiting both our patients and staff."

Nurses will further discuss their concerns and plans for next steps at a news conference Thursday morning. MNA members, including Eastvold and Chris Rubesch, a registered nurse at Essentia-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, will speak.

Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
What to read next
When your alarm clock goes off, do you hop out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day? Or are you groggy, tired and would rather hit snooze and sleep longer? A new study shows that the secret to feeling more energetic in the morning is to do three things. Viv Williams has the details in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."
The strike will begin Dec. 11, unless tentative contract agreements are made with hospitals before then. Nurses at Essentia and Twin Cities hospitals would strike for three weeks, until Dec. 31. St. Luke's nurses plan to strike indefinitely.
MNA leaders have the authority to give hospitals a 10-day notice of a strike. The nurses previously held a three-day strike in September.
What are your favorite holiday foods? In this NewsMD column, a local chef demonstrates his mother's amazing Christmas lasagna. And Viv Williams explores how holiday food traditions can be good for your health.