U of M freezes talks with donors linked to Fairview, Sanford

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A hearing on the future of the University of Minnesota's teaching and research hospital filled a meeting room at the state Capitol Sunday.

The Star Tribune reports the U of M announced that it's suspending talks with potential donors connected to either Fairview Health Services or Sanford Health.

Fairview, which operates the U of M hospital, is in talks with Sanford about a possible merger. Attorney General Lori Swanson is among those who've raised concerns about such a union, which could leave the U of M hospital in the hands of South Dakota-based Sanford.

Last week it was revealed that the university has proposed that it take over Fairview.

As the Star Tribune reports, U of M alum T. Denny Sanford, who launched Sanford Health with a $400 million donation, has been wooed by fundraisers with the Golden Gophers athletic department. The university's general counsel says that will now stop, preventing talks about the medical center's future from being tainted by potential conflicts involving "gifts for football or athletics or anything else."

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