Why a university hospital?

Today, the Academic Health Center continues to partner with Fairview Health Services on a shared clinical mission. The recent report “Evaluating the Integration of the Clinical Enterprise” to the Regents demonstrates how this nearly thirteen-year old relationship continues to develop.

There is an interesting historical division between those who knew and worked within the University Hospitals and those who have only known Fairview as the owner/operator of the University of Minnesota Medical Center. For the latter, Fairview has always owned the hospital and University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) has always been the faculty group practice.

Yet, this view seems to imply that the transition was spontaneous and effortless on January 1, 1997. In fact, the early part of the 1990s was a major time of restructuring within the AHC and in health services in general that set the stage for this change. This reorganization included a new mission for the Board of Governors as well as a closer alignment to the University of Minnesota Clinical Associates, the then faculty practice.

For a snapshot of where the University stood in 1993 read the executive summary below. Find out why a university hospital was important then. And, whether it was absolutely necessary that the University owned the hospital.