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“We’re heartbroken. We’re overwhelmed.”

As COVID-19 surges, Minnesota health system CEOs make public appeal

December 13, 2021– CEOs from nine Minnesota health systems have come together in an appeal to the public, asking them to help our state’s overwhelmed health care system. As COVID-19 continues to surge, leaders have taken out a full-page ad in major newspapers across the state this week that highlight the critical nature of the situation, the heartbreaking realities facing hospitals and how the community can help.

Almost two years into this pandemic, Minnesota health care is in one of the most difficult positions it has been in since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in our state. Doctors, nurses and people working in health care are doing everything they can to support the health of all Minnesotans. And yet, every day our health care workers see avoidable illness and death as a direct result of COVID-19. Health systems have risen to every challenge put before them, but they are overwhelmed and cannot continue to carry this burden.

Collaboration between Minnesota’s health care systems has always been an important part of serving the community. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the level of teamwork, support and cooperation is higher than ever. The CEOs are asking everyone to step up and do their part to stop the continued spread of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated + get your booster
  • Wear a mask (even if you’re vaccinated) + socially distance
  • If you feel sick, get tested for COVID-19
  • Encourage neighbors and loved ones to take these steps

The ad is signed by:

J. Kevin Croston, MD
Chief Executive Officer, North Memorial Health

Gianrico Farrugia, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Mayo Clinic

James Hereford
President and Chief Executive Officer, Fairview Health Services

Kenneth Holmen, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, CentraCare

Jennifer DeCubellis
Chief Executive Officer, Hennepin Healthcare

Marc Gorelick, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Minnesota

Penny Wheeler, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Allina Health

David Herman, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Essentia Health

Andrea Walsh
President and Chief Executive Officer, HealthPartners

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Health system media contacts:

Allina Health | Conny Bergerson, Director Public Relations | 612-270-9935
conny.bergerson@allina.com

CentraCare | Wendy Jerde, Director of Communications | 320-229-4983
wendy.jerde@centracare.com

Children’s Minnesota | Dina Elrashidy, Communications Manager, External | 763-478-7102
Dina.Elrashidy@childrensmn.org

Essentia Health | Tony Matt, Media Relations | 218.428.1781
Anthony.Matt@EssentiaHealth.org

Fairview Health Services | Aimee Jordan, Media Relations Manager | 612-306-1811
ajordan5@fairview.org

HealthPartners | Scott Beedy, Senior Communications Consultant | 612-248-4622
scott.d.beedy@healthpartners.com

Hennepin Healthcare | Christine Hill, Media Relations | 612-421-0130
Christine.Hill@hcmed.org

Mayo Clinic | Sharon Theimer, Public Affairs | 507-284-5005
newsbureau@mayo.edu

North Memorial Health | Jennifer Rengo, Director Multi-Channel Experience | 763.581.2408
jennifer.rengo@NorthMemorial.com