Our path toward a true academic health system

Brooks Jackson, M.D., M.B.A.

Last fall I announced in the Medical Bulletin that the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) were negotiating with Fairview Health Services to form a new, fully integrated academic health system. This was a significant step toward an important goal. Being part of an academic health system is critical as we strive to deliver on our clinical care, education, and research mission.

Being part of an academic health system is critical as we strive to deliver on our clinical care, education, and research mission.

Unfortunately, after nine months of negotiations, we were unable to reach an agreement with Fairview. In July, the University and UMP terminated the letter of intent and began looking for other partners and paths that could help us achieve our goals.

We were disappointed that we could not reach an agreement. In the end, it became apparent that the University and Fairview don’t share a common vision for what a true academic health system needs to be. The University could not enter into an agreement that did not protect the academic and research mission that is so critical for this state.

The University of Minnesota and UMP share a mission rooted in academic medicine. We are dedicated to educating the next generation of care providers for our state, advancing health care through groundbreaking research, and delivering the highest quality care to patients from Minnesota and beyond.

Our overall goal has not changed. We know that a world-class medical school requires a world-class health system, just as a world-class health system requires a world-class medical school. We are committed to finding a new path to get there.

The Academic Health Center and UMP have started a strategic planning process that will consider a range of options going forward. We have heard from several health care organizations since the Fairview talks ended. We are lucky to live in a state with excellent health care options, providing many exciting possibilities for collaboration and partnership. In the meantime, we continue to work with Fairview through our existing University of Minnesota Health partnership.

We are confident that we will find new, innovative ways to ensure a positive future for our health sciences schools, faculty, patients, and state.

Published on October 24, 2016