The 14 hospitals owned by CommonSpirit Health in North Dakota and Minnesota could join Essentia Health as early as this summer.

Essentia Health and CommonSpirit Health have signed a Letter of Intent for CommonSpirit-owned facilities operating under the CHI brand in North Dakota and Minnesota to join Essentia Health. This includes CHI St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, a full-service tertiary hospital and 13 critical access hospitals, along with associated clinics and living communities currently operated by CommonSpirit and CHI Health at Home home health and hospice agencies.

Leaders from Essentia and CommonSpirit look forward to continuing their strategic discussions, building on their mutually held commitment to the health and vitality of this region.

“This is an exciting opportunity to extend our passion for excellence in rural health care to additional communities,” says Essentia CEO David C. Herman, MD. “We’re grateful that our shared Benedictine heritage and values form a strong foundation for our ongoing discussions. It would be an honor to carry on the rich tradition of high-quality Catholic health care evident today in these CHI facilities.”

“CommonSpirit wants patients in this region to have access to a strong network of rural and tertiary hospitals, primary and specialty care, and telehealth services,” said Cliff Robertson, MD, senior vice president for CommonSpirit’s Midwest division. “Essentia Health is well-positioned to integrate these facilities into a continuum of care, while carrying on the Catholic heritage and mission of these facilities. We look forward to continuing our conversations.”

Both organizations recognize the important role that health care plays in keeping rural communities vibrant. This shared understanding will help ensure the long-term success of these facilities should an agreement move forward. Essentia has a proven track record of providing access to comprehensive, integrated care in rural communities across North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. CommonSpirit, which was formed when Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) combined with Dignity Health in 2019, also operates facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Signing a Letter of Intent is the first step in the process of reaching a formal agreement to transfer ownership of these facilities. It is the hope of both organizations that the due diligence process moves forward smoothly, and the CHI facilities could join Essentia by summer 2021.

Facilities List

The following facilities will be included in the discussions with Essentia Health:

North Dakota

CHI Friendship

CHI Health at Home - Fargo

CHI Lisbon Health, Lisbon

CHI Mercy Health, Valley City

CHI Oakes Hospital, Oakes

CHI St. Alexius Health, Bismarck

CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck Medical Center

CHI St. Alexius Health Clinics, Bismarck

CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington Medical Center, Carrington

CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake Hospital, Devils Lake

CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson Medical Center, Dickinson

CHI St. Alexius Health Garrison, Garrison

CHI St. Alexius Health Turtle Lake, Turtle Lake

CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center, Williston

PrimeCare Health Group – Clinically Integrated Network

CHI Living Communities - Riverview (Part of CHI Living Communities, Toledo, OH)


CHI LakeWood Health, Baudette

CHI St. Francis Health, Breckenridge

CHI St. Francis Health St. Francis Medical Center, Breckenridge

CHI St. Francis Health St. Francis Home, Breckenridge

CHI St. Francis Health Appletree Court, Breckenridge

CHI St. Joseph’s Health, Park Rapids

CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, Little Falls

CHI St. Gabriel’s Health Alverna Apartments, Little Falls

CHI St. Gabriel’s Health St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls

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