News Release

Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota sign Letter of Intent for transformative next chapter of their partnership

Exterior view of the University Medical Center - West facilities
Two of the UMN health care facilities, Masonic Children's Hospital (left) and University Medical Center - West Bank (right).

Fairview Health Services, the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians have reached a significant milestone in their long-standing partnership. The organizations have signed a Letter of Intent outlining the University of Minnesota’s intent to purchase the four key academic health facilities that make up the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center — the East and West Bank campuses, M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital and the M Health Fairview Clinics and Surgery Center. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the LOI today.

This multi-year, multi-phased approach is a significant undertaking, with a comprehensive plan for shared management and governance by both the University of Minnesota and Fairview Health Services during a transition period, ensuring continuity of world-class patient care. The University of Minnesota aims to complete the full purchase of these facilities by Dec. 31, 2027.

"We are grateful for the collaboration and shared successes we have experienced with Fairview Health Services over the years — M Health Fairview patients and all Minnesotans are better off because of the work of our talented teams." said University of Minnesota Interim President Jeff Ettinger. "We also agree we will need to step up in new and different ways for the future health of our state. This LOI, and the discussions ahead of us, are critical steps toward more fully integrating education, research, and patient care to better serve Minnesotans statewide."

This strategic decision aligns with the University of Minnesota's public mission of advancing the health of all Minnesotans by ensuring high-quality and innovative care, teaching the state’s future healthcare workforce and supporting discoveries that will inform and enhance patient care.

"This is a critical first step towards a new and reimagined relationship that will better meet the current and future needs of our patients and our community," said Fairview Health Services President and CEO James Hereford. "Our patients and our employees, who contribute significantly to our success, will remain the heart of our organizations. Today's announcement is designed to provide clarity on our collaborative path forward."

Over the past several months, Fairview Health Services, the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians have collaboratively explored the future of their partnership, building on a history of cooperation that began in 1997 and evolved into the M Health Fairview Joint Clinical Enterprise (JCE) in 2018.

Fairview Health Services has long supported the mission of the JCE to provide the best access to academic health services. Last year, the University of Minnesota announced its desire to purchase the four academic health facilities on and around the Twin Cities campus from Fairview Health Services as part of its five-point plan for the future of academic health. The decision to sell the academic facilities to the University of Minnesota is in support of that vision for their future. Fairview Health Services leaders are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and remain committed to the mission of making a positive impact on the health and well-being of the community.

Key points from the Letter of Intent

Patient care and operations: Patient care and day-to-day operations will remain unchanged during this period. The goal is to ensure a seamless transition for patients and staff.

Brand identity: M Health Fairview will continue to represent the partnership until new definitive agreements are reached. The future of the M Health Fairview brand remains a key consideration in ongoing conversations.

Workforce impact: There are no layoffs planned as a result of this LOI, and active transitions will be planned in consultation with staff to minimize disruption.


  • At the end of 2023 — a deadline set by the agreements — Fairview Health Services and the University of Minnesota provided notice of non-renewal of the current agreements which end December 31, 2026.
  • In the coming months, the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services will continue work on new definitive agreements by Sept. 30, 2024, outlining how we will work together in the years to come. If an agreement is not reached by this date, there is an option to extend the negotiation period. 
  • Following necessary regulatory processes, which may take until early 2025, the first step in the transition period would begin with Fairview Health Services and the University of Minnesota sharing management and governance of the four academic health facilities.
  • The transition would conclude with the University of Minnesota assuming full ownership of all four academic health facilities by December 31, 2027.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Aimee Jordan
Fairview Health Services 
[email protected]

Jake Ricker
University of Minnesota
[email protected]

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