SCBHS board votes to pursue affiliation

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services has voted unanimously to pursue affiliation with CentraCare Health of St. Cloud, or Carris Health of Willmar. CentraCare owns Carris at its meeting last Thursday. Carris also has a relationship with CentraCare.

Its vote came after months of study, public input, and research into the option of continuing to exist as a stand-alone operation.

Prior to last Thursday’s meeting, the health service’s Strategic Planning Committee met to go over the steps necessary to move SCBHS toward affiliation.

It discussed the possibility of affiliating and what that might look like with Bryan Lydick of Carris Health of Redwood Falls. Redwood Falls was an independent operation prior to going with Carris.

It met with Dr. Ken Holmen, president/CEO of CentraCare and Cindy Firkins Smith, Co-CEO Carris Health to discuss market drivers in rural health care, rural healthcare changes, CentraCare’s vision for the region, clarification on Carris Health and CentraCare relationship, and challenges facing healthcare today.

Governing board members discussed the Public Employee Retirement Account (PERA) current SCBHS employees are vested in and how their benefits would be affected by joining Carris or CentraCare...


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