University of Minnesota Physicians commit to a healthier future 

21 July 2023

State leaders – both business and elected – have been having important conversations about how to best support Minnesota’s health care needs. I believe it’s important to hear from one of Minnesota’s largest groups of people who are personally committed to delivering care to our state’s patients: University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians).

We are the thousands of doctors, advanced practice providers, nurses, therapists, technicians and many other staff on the front lines of care who improve the health of Minnesota’s communities through healthcare systems across the state.

Our people made incredible sacrifices during the pandemic, they spend their own time training the next generations of clinicians, they develop the innovative treatments we share with our state, and they are dedicated to improving the health of all Minnesotans.

Our largest health system partner is Fairview Health Services, which contracts with us to provide care and research as part of our academic health system, which we call M Health Fairview. This potent partnership allows us to bridge the gap between laboratory discoveries and leading-edge clinical services, and it enables immediate patient benefits from academic, physician-led medicine.

Here are two numbers that demonstrate those impacts for Minnesota:

Seven. In 2022, our clinics were ranked seventh in the nation for the quality of care provided. Our people have worked hard to improve care for patients over the past three years – in 2020 the ranking was 17. This improvement comes from the compassion of physicians and other health professionals who help patients with their health concerns, from the most straightforward to the most complex. It also represents how our work to improve access to high-quality care impacts patients’ lives.

We can see those impacts in the survival rates at M Health Fairview hospitals. Our physicians have been responsible for improving survival rates, which are now among the top 20% of all U.S. hospitals since the establishment of M Health Fairview. They are on their way to being in the top 10%, but only with continued academic leadership by the University of Minnesota.

One. For the third year in a row, we rank No. 1 in the nation for equity and access to care, both in our clinics and in our M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center hospital.

Dr. Bevan Yueh

Here are a couple more numbers: 87, the number of Minnesota counties whose residents we serve (that is all of them, by the way) 1.2 million. The number of visits to our clinics and hospitals by Minnesotans in 2022.

These patients are at the center of every question we ask and every commitment we make to the academic health care system and wellbeing of our state. Whether we are using science to explore new and better therapies, educating Minnesota’s future doctors, or caring for patients, we constantly work to innovate how we provide care and improve patients’ lives. This is a promise embodied by the:

Infectious disease care teams who united to reduce COVID-19-related hospital deaths at the height of the pandemic.
Educators who train physicians to provide healthcare in Greater Minnesota.
Innovators who make life-saving treatments like ECMO–a technology used to resuscitate the heart–portable and more rapidly available to all of Minnesota’s communities.
Caregivers who support new mothers in north Minneapolis with care packages to take home with their newborns.
Researchers who work with patients and members of Native American and rural communities to improve access to healthcare.
National experts who have joined together here to give our state’s youngest citizens what they need to optimize their brain development and ensure they have a better chance to realize their potential.
Faculty clinicians who are developing the most innovative and promising treatments in all fields, including organ transplantation, cellular therapy, heart care and brain and mental health.

M Physicians and the University of Minnesota Medical School are committed to a future and a health system that advances the health of Minnesota, independent of location, income or insurance. And as we contemplate the future of Minnesota’s only public academic health care facilities, we ask elected officials and business leaders to commit to that future too.

Bevan Yueh, MD, MPH is the CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians), the vice dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Minnesota Medical School and a practicing otolaryngologist – head and neck surgery physician.

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