Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening?
Fairview Health Services is making changes across our system that will help us deliver simpler, more affordable, accessible, and equitable care, while responding to the evolving health needs of our communities. Our plans include consolidating or repurposing some locations, while also improving or expanding our services at other sites.
How will patients be affected?
Patients can and will continue to receive the same high-quality care at dozens of locations throughout our system. Though we are consolidating some of our locations, we are working to improve our ability to provide care in ways and at times that are more convenient for you.
This year, we have expanded our virtual services available at oncare.org, our 24/7 online clinic. Consolidating some of our primary care clinics will also allow us to extend and standardize our clinic hours at other sites. We will offer more “hub” locations where you can access multiple specialists at one site on the same day.
Why are you carrying out this transformation?
Like many other health systems across the country, our system faces long-term financial challenges. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while necessary for the health of our communities, only increased those challenges. More importantly, our country’s health system is broken. It is unaffordable and inaccessible for too many people, and it hasn’t evolved to meet today’s care needs and opportunities.
We need to find new ways to deliver high-quality healthcare that are affordable, accessible, and just plain easier for everyone involved. Our actions include new strategic investments and cost reduction measures that will help us keep meeting the needs of our community today and into the future. These changes will also allow us to continue fulfilling our promise to bring breakthrough healthcare.
Which clinic and pharmacy locations are closing, and when will the closures happen?
The following primary care clinic locations are closing effective December 4, 2020:
• Columbia Heights
• Downtown St. Paul
• Grand Avenue
• Hugo (HealthEast – 14688 Everton Ave N)
• Integrated Primary Care
• Lino Lakes
• Pine City
• Xerxes (Bloomington Lake, Xerxes)
• Ellsworth (WI)
• Spring Valley (WI)
What should I do if my clinic or pharmacy is closing? How will I be able to continue receiving care?
We are happy to work with you to transfer your care to a new M Health Fairview location that is convenient for you.
Providers from Ellsworth and Spring Valley, Wi will continue to see patients in the River Falls location.
Current patients of impacted locations will receive a letter from their clinic or pharmacy in November with additional instructions. If you have questions, you are encouraged to call 1-800-FAIRVIEW (324-7843).
What is happening to St. Joseph’s Hospital?
Based on hundreds of community conversations over the last year, it became clear that our current care model at St. Joseph’s Hospital is not meeting the direct health needs of the surrounding communities. As part of our commitment and vision to provide, affordable, accessible and equitable care, the hospital will be reimagined as a community hub for health and wellness. We plan to create a campus that addresses the social risk factors of health, focused on three areas: health, housing, and supportive services.
As a result of this transition, most existing hospital services at St. Joseph’s will move to other hospital locations in our system, and the emergency room will discontinue services. Our existing inpatient mental health beds will remain at St. Joseph’s through 2021.
We are actively exploring how we will continue our leadership in providing mental health services in our region, including our ongoing pursuit of partners through the Request for Partnership process kicked off earlier this year. By the end of the year, our system’s COVID-19 care center will relocate from Bethesda Hospital to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
What is happening to Bethesda Hospital?
In partnership with Ramsey County, Bethesda Hospital will be repurposed to help address the homelessness crisis. This winter, it will provide shelter to hundreds of Minnesotans and give people the space needed to rebuild their lives, while helping reduce COVID-19 spread among the unsheltered. Just as we did when responding to COVID-19, we are proud to once again partner with community leaders to address a serious and important need in our communities. In advance of this change, our COVID-19 care center will relocate to St. Joseph’s Hospital. The long-term acute care previously provided at Bethesda Hospital before the COVID-19 pandemic will remain at St. Joseph’s Hospital at this time.
What about the other hospitals in the M Health Fairview system?
Sites across the system, including St. John’s Hospital, Woodwinds Health Campus, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Southdale Hospital, and our Maplewood Clinics and Surgery Center, will see growth in services and capacity as a result of moving services from St. Joseph’s Hospital. We are also continuing the transition to single-occupancy hospital rooms at hospitals across our system.
To accomplish this, we are expanding at Southdale Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Single-occupancy patient rooms improve patient care and experience and allow more privacy and comfort for patients and their families.
How will these changes affect your ongoing ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you prepared if another surge occurs?
Our COVID-19 care will be centralized at St. Joseph’s through 2021, or as long as there is a community need. We are maintaining our COVID-19 capacity in the ICU and with our med-surge beds. Southdale Hospital will continue to serve as a backup site should a surge in cases occur, leading to a need for more capacity.
What is M Health Fairview doing to ensure that accessible healthcare is still available in the communities it serves?
We’ve seen large growth in the use of our virtual care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe virtual care will continue to be an important part of our future. For that reason, we plan to continue prioritizing development of our virtual care services.
So far, we have seen a very positive response to virtual care from you, our patients. In addition to expanding our virtual options, we are working closely with community organizations and other groups to ensure that access to technology is not a barrier for people who need care.
Does M Health Fairview remain committed to providing mental health care?
Yes. We are the largest provider of mental health services in the Upper Midwest. We’re focused on improving our mental health care for all people, no matter their situation or needs. We will do this by integrating mental health in primary care, providing new virtual options, and by launching the state’s first EmPATH mental health units. EmPATH stands for Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment and Healing.
Too often, people experiencing mental health emergencies end up in emergency departments for urgent mental health needs. EmPATH is a patient-centered innovation and new way of caring for those experiencing emergency mental health needs. Our model offers psychiatric patients specialized care in a safe, calm, healing environment with immediate access to mental health professionals and direct connections to outpatient treatments. We will open the first of our planned EmPATH units at Southdale Hospital in early 2021.
What does this mean for your partnership with the University of Minnesota?
M Health Fairview is a collaboration of the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services. The changes announced by Fairview Health Services do not change this partnership. Together, we are committed to combining the best of academic and community medicine and expanding access to breakthrough care.
Where can I go for more information?
Read more about the changes at fairview.org/future.