The M Health Fairview clinic in Pine City will close by Dec. 4.

On Oct. 5, M Health Fairview announced that it will close  16 clinics across Minnesota and Wisconsin and six pharmacies – including the pharmacies in Rush City and Milaca – as part of cost-cutting measures. 

In 2017, Fairview merged with HealthEast, taking over its hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. In 2019, Fairview and the University of Minnesota Hospitals created a “shared care delivery system ... united by a single brand,” known as M Health Fairview. 

M Health Fairview reports that it lost $163 million in the first six months of this year. 

“Our health system is taking several important steps forward ... to address the financial challenges all healthcare systems, including ours, are facing,” said M Health Fairview President and CEO James Hereford.

Due to these cutbacks approximately 900 jobs across the M Health Fairview system – nearly 3% of the total workforce – will be eliminated. It was not reported how many employees in Pine City and Rush City will lose their jobs and how many will be reassigned. 

The Pine City clinic at 100 Evergreen Square clinic offered family medicine, rehabilitation services, mammography, sports medicine and other specialty services.

Rush City pharmacy to close

As part of these cuts, the Fairview pharmacy at 760 W Fourth St. in Rush City will also close. The clinic will remain, although medical staff at M Health Fairview Clinic – Rush City do not provide medical diagnosis and treatment. They will continue to provide the following services: 

• Help connect patients to care, take vitals and help with virtual care options.

• Lab services (limited)

• Secure computer and internet to use for online care

• Mammography screenings by appointment

• Diabetes education by appointment

Patient access, virtual care

M Health Fairview officials claim that clinics and other primary care locations will have longer hours for better patient access and a wider array of more advanced primary care services. They also state that growth in their virtual care options means more people can have their healthcare needs met without leaving their homes.

“Achieving this transformation requires change, and change is both exciting and difficult,” Hereford said. “Together, we will rise to meet this moment in order to create healthcare that is more affordable, accessible, and equitable. Healthcare that makes our community better, for everyone, today and long into the future.” 

Current patients of clinics and pharmacies which are closing will receive a letter in November with additional instructions. Those with questions are encouraged to call 1-855-324-7843.

Two M Health Fairview hospitals are also on the list to close in the near future. Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul will be leased to Ramsey County to help address the homelessness crisis, pending Ramsey County Board approval. St. Joseph’s Hospital, also in St. Paul, will be, “reimagined as a community hub of health and wellness,” according to the press release.

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