The discussions, though still preliminary, could lead Red Wing to a breakup after 14 years with Fairview.
Fairview Red Wing Health Services said Thursday it is in discussions with the Mayo Clinic Health System, a move that could end its 14-year affiliation with Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services.
The regional health care system, which serves southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, includes a 50-bed hospital and adjoining clinics, primary care clinics in nearby Zumbrota and Ellsworth, and nursing homes.
The Red Wing facilities have been affiliated with Fairview since 1997.
Talks between the three parties are in the preliminary stages, officials with the organizations stressed. The evaluation process is expected to take several months.
"We're looking toward the future," said Marcy Dowse, a spokeswoman for Fairview Red Wing. "Given the changing health care environment, we're taking a look at whether we need a different kind of relationship to best meet the needs of the region's residents."
The city's proximity to Mayo Clinic's flagship facility in Rochester has meant that patients in the Red Wing area often go to Mayo for treatment. Doctors in the two systems move back and forth as well, particularly between Red Wing and Mayo's facilities in Cannon Falls and Lake City, both about a half hour's drive away.
The Mayo Clinic Health Services launched in 1992. It now provides health care and senior services in 71 communities in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa. Most recently, Mayo acquired Queen of Peace Hospital and affiliated clinics in New Prague in June.
Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335