Essentia Health, North Pine Area Hospital District Sign Lease For Essentia Health-Sandstone
Essentia Health and the North Pine Area Hospital District's board signed a three-year agreement for Essentia to continue operating Essentia Health-Sandstone (Minn.), according to a Duluth News Tribune report.
Both parties recently approved the deal after a lengthy and at times controversial process. Essentia's original lease with North Pine Area Hospital District, which it signed in 1997, was due to expire Aug. 31 and had been in question since last fall, when North Pine Hospital District board members said they would cancel it. That led Essentia to fire the hospital's top two local administrators and announce it would exercise a clause in the lease to buy Essentia Health-Sandstone.
The two entities had been moving toward a solution since talks began in May. The terms of the lease give the hospital district voting membership in Essentia's Pine Medical Center Board, which currently operates the hospital; an opt-out provision for the district if, at 18 months, certain benchmarks are not met; and a requirement for the construction of a new hospital in Sandstone to begin by Sept. 1, 2014.
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