Essentia Health Severing Ties with Int'l Falls Hospital

Posted at: 09/23/2013 4:28 PM
Updated at: 09/23/2013 4:46 PM

Duluth-based Essentia Health is severing ties with an International Falls hospital.

According to Essentia Health's Kim Kaiser, Essentia and the Rainy Lake Medical Center have had an affiliation since 2009. This spring, she said Essentia proposed fully integrating the entities, even promising to build a new facility.

Kaiser said a counterproposal by the Falls Memorial Trustees revealed that "we didn't have the same vision for health care."

Trustee Bob Anderson said Rainy Lake's counterproposal would have continued the affiliation with Essentia. He said it proposed allowing Rainy Lake to take over management of the facility.

Anderson also said that since the affiliation began, Essentia's outreach to the International Falls area has been "declining." He said Rainy Lake was "not seeing as many specialists."

Kaiser said the Essentia Health-International Falls clinic will remain in the community, but the two entities will be legally separated.

She said the affiliation will end by June 30, 2014.

According to Anderson, jobs will not be impacted by the decision.