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He also talked about working personally on communication and cooperation between Fairview units, departments and facilities. It’s something he was willing to actually call a weakness. “The university is a prime example,” he said. “You can tell how disconnected we have been at times.”
Fairview took over the university’s big teaching hospital in the late 1990s and Mooty said there was “such a buildup of challenge and friction, maybe having a different player come into that was meaningful.”
In May, Fairview and the university, along with University of Minnesota Physicians, announced an agreement to create one organization without actually merging them.
University President Eric Kaler thinks Mooty was instrumental in repairing the relationship.
“He was very active in continuing that conversation and in pushing toward this result,” Kaler said. “There’s still some space to go for perfect alignment, but by agreeing to the integrated structure, we have made big steps.”
The deal with the U followed the collapse of talks for a different kind of merger, that of Fairview with Dakota-based Sanford Health.
Mooty said no organization in health care can sit still, and he knew it was his job to take that overture seriously. He added that he was “proud of our board” for plunging into the process of figuring out whether such a move would make sense.
“The hard part with Sanford is that we never got a chance to get very far,” he said. “Justice didn’t prevail,” he said, referring to the involvement of Attorney General Swanson, which effectively killed further talks.
Mooty said no one should conclude that the Sanford talks came out of a sense of vulnerability.
Long-term winners will be those providers that cost-effectively deliver in a seamless, integrated system, he said. His successor will take over Fairview with its community health assets as well as senior care, mental health and a university medical center.
It’s a job that’s attracting good candidates, he said. The table will be set.
Mooty would like to stay with the Fairview board to help Fairview as it evolves, but also understands that the new CEO may not want to see a predecessor, even an interim, still on the board.
If so, he said, he will go. Quietly.