“What are you people up to?” asks General Swanson
Just what the #$%$% is goin’ on?
Having just recently gotten wind that Fairview Health and Sanford Health from Sioux Falls were considering a merger, and since – for better or worse – the University of Minnesota Hospital is part of the Fairview system (which is a charity under Minnesota law), Attorney General Swanson – who has the responsibility for oversight of all charities in Minnesota – called a hearing to find out what the #$$%^% was going on. It was held on Sunday, April 7th. The room — Room 15 in the Capitol, the round room under the rotunda — was packed.
Based on all the reporters in the room, this hearing should be amply reported. But here are a few images from the occasion. [Update: It was well reported. Here’s the Strib’s story; there are more photos here, however.]
The longest living kidney transplant patient (1975) from the University of Minnesota’s pioneering transplant program was there, sitting next to a lung transplant recipient at the University on his right.
So was former Attorney General Mike Hatch who had some dustups with health care organizations himself.
There were some legislators in attendance, too, including Phyllis Kahn and a reflective Terri Bonoff.
Sioux Falls media were also there.
General Swanson took the field and the hearing began with a recitation of the AG’s responsibilities to oversee charities and the long and storied tradition of Fairview Health (starting out to help Norwegian immigrants who couldn’t afford health care) and the University of Minnesota Medical School and Hospital. If Minnesota blood runs in your veins, it was a moving presentation.
The Attorney General had some sharp questions for Sanford Health execs. Iszat so? asks AG Swanson.
The Sanford people were sometimes testy in reply.
Chuck Mooty, the interim CEO of Fairview, also testified.
The reaction of the AG and her lieutenants was, well, chilly.
All photos by the author
Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.