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BENEDICTINE HEALTH SYSTEM AGREES TO AFFILIATION OF ST. FRANCIS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER WITH HEALTHSPAN

 DULUTH, Minn., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Benedictine Health Systems, at a meeting of its board of directors on Feb. 20, agreed to develop a letter of intent to pursue a partnership with HealthSpan in the ownership and operation of St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee, Minn., said Sister Kathleen Hofer, chief executive officer of Benedictine Health System (BHS).
 BHS entertained two proposals for affiliation with St. Francis, one from HealthSpan and a joint proposal from Fairview Health System, Methodist Hospital and Park Nicollet Medical Center.
 "HealthSpan's proposal more completely met our established criteria for affiliation," Hofer said. "The Benedictine Health System is committed to maintaining its presence in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area, and sees the collaboration with HealthSpan as a positive step to achieving this goal."
 BHS will immediately develop a letter of intent and begin working with HealthSpan to formalize details regarding the affiliation. "We will work to strengthen the already important role St. Francis plays in providing health care in the Minnesota Valley," Hofer said.
 In addition to St. Francis, BHS is the parent corporation to five facilities in Minnesota: St. Mary's Medical Center, Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center, and the Benedictine Health Center in Duluth; St. Joseph's Medical Center, Brainerd; and St. Mary's Regional Health Center, Detroit Lakes. BHS also owns and operates St. Mary's Hospital in Cottonwood, Idaho, and six long term care facilities in North and South Dakota. BHS is the health care corporation established in 1985 by the Benedictine Sisters Benevolent Association of Duluth.
 HealthSpan, based in Minneapolis, is the largest health care corporation in Minnesota with more than 16,000 employees and 16 facilities across the upper Midwest. In the Twin Cities, HealthSpan owns and operates Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Sister Kenny Institute, and Phillips Eye Institute, Minneapolis; Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids, Minn.; Unity Hospital, Fridley; and United Hospital, St. Paul, Minn.
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Janis Kivela Hooey, director of communications of Benedictine Health System, 218-720-2375/


CO: Benedictine Health System ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU:

AL -- MN002 -- 9226 02/23/93 08:04 EST
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Date:Feb 23, 1993
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