Moose Lake’s Mercy RNs Issue Concerns About Merger Negotiations

8 Feb

Minnesota Nurses Association Media Release


Media Contact:                      Jan Rabbers  (612) 860-6658 or

Mercy Hospital (Moose Lake) RNs Issue Concerns About Merger Negotiations

(Moose Lake, MN – February 8, 2012) As Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake moves toward a possible merger with Duluth-based Essentia Health, registered nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association met last week to discuss concerns regarding impact on the community and on the work environment at the hospital.

The meeting highlighted the nurses’ apprehensions about the overall process of merger negotiations, especially noting the lack of advice and involvement of patient care providers, patients, and potential patients.

The group unanimously drafted and approved this statement reflecting the nurses’ issues.

“Mercy hospital has been a part of this community for decades, and the registered nurses at Mercy are proud to be a part of the outstanding patient care that patients have come to expect. We would like to see Mercy remain a place for our neighbors to receive high quality patient care for decades to come.

“The laws and ethics of our profession direct us to be mandated patient advocates.  From the patient room to the boardroom, we will advocate for our patients, our community, and our hospital. As such, even though we do not have a firm position on the outcome of merger talks, we cannot in good faith, support any merger or affiliation unless the following issues are answered in a way that benefits our community and our patients:

  1. What will be the composition of the hospital governing board, and how will community members have influence regarding the future operation of our hospital?
  2. Why have patient care providers (doctors and nurses) been shut out of the negotiating process?
  3. Will Essentia commit to, at a minimum, maintaining the level of services provided at Mercy?
  4. What guarantees would be in place to protect employees and maintain existing employee contracts?
  5. What are the specific details regarding the future of local community doctors?
  6. Why, in detail, does Mercy need to affiliate in light of a history of profitable operation?
  7. What capital and operational investments will be made by Essentia to provide for the hospital; for the community?

“We value the people of this community.   We hear the concerns of patients and their families every day on the hospital floor.  We implore our hospital board to take the time as we do to listen to their input and advice.  Then communicate, respectfully and consistently, with community members before any action is taken about the details of this process.”

Respectfully submitted,
The Mercy Hospital Registered Nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association

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