Fairview Health has announced it will be closing Bethesda Hospital, reducing services at St. Joseph's Hospital eliminating 900 jobs in the process.

This dramatic downsizing of its operations aims to curb financial loses, which amounted to $163 million for the first six months of 2020.

The Besthesda Hospital which was transform in to a Covid facility in march will be leased to Ramsey Count and used as a shelter for the homeless.

Covid-19 treatment will be transferred to the St. Joseph's hospital by the end of 2020 and will continue there, as long as the community need it.

The exact number and professions of people losing jobs is unclear, despite the plan to cut 900 positions — or nearly 3% of Fairview’s workforce of 34,000 people. Fairview has 1,200 job vacancies, including 300 nursing positions, so one goal is to transfer people into these positions.

As reported by Star Tribune, this announcement by fairview formalizes plans for the closures of Bethesda and St. Joseph’s as hospitals that were privately proposed by Fairview executives last November in war room meetings to address financial shortfalls that were occurring even before the economically crippling pandemic.

It is reported that their financial woes only got worse this year with the coronavirus causing a statewide shutdown and a decrease in viral activity that included the suspension of non-urgent surgeries. Fairview posted an operating loss of about $66 million in its second financial quarter from April through June this year, according to the most recent financial records.

Also included in the cuts and closures are primary care clinics  in Columbia Heights, Farmington, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Milaca, Pine City, Roseville, Savage and Zimmerman in Minnesota, as well as select sites in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington. Clinics also will close in Ellsworth and Spring Valley in Wisconsin. Eleven of the aforementioned clinics had temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

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