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A photo of Fairview-University Medical Center, Riverside campus,

The Fairview Riverside medical campus will also change its name to University of Minnesota Medical Center.

New name for hospital

Fairview-University Medical Center will become University of Minnesota Medical Center

By Pauline Oo and Martha Coventry

Published on May 25, 2005

First it was called University Hospital. Then it became Fairview-University Medical Center. Soon it will be known as the University of Minnesota Medical Center, a division of Fairview.

In 1996, the U's primary teaching hospital merged with the Fairview Riverside Medical Center. In the 1990s, health care contracting changed radically when insured managed care became more and more popular. Most freestanding university teaching hospitals across the country, which were expensive to operate partly because of the instructional component, were having a hard time making it as independents. Universities nationwide began selling their medical centers to private systems. Although University Hospital was in good financial shape at the time, the writing was on the wall given the trend with other academic medical centers. Allina and Fairview bid on the hospital and Fairview became the new owner. Despite worries at the time about "privatization," the partnership--the University of Minnesota Physicians group and community physicians staff the hospital--has become a nationwide model of success.

Did you know?

In 1911, Minnesota became the first state to make hospital internships mandatory for medical students.

In 1972, U physicians developed a new technique for the long-term preservation of human cornea before transplant.

In 2000, Fairview-University Medical Center established the nation's first stem cell institute, and in 2004 the medical center was named a Cancer Center of Distinction. That year too, the center celebrated its 500th heart transplant and the 6,000th kidney transplant.

"In many ways, this [name change] reflects the success of our partnership and the recognition by Fairview that the University relationship is different [than their other partnerships]. It represents a unique opportunity for Fairview," says Frank Cerra, senior vice president for health services at the U. "For the University, using our [full] name for the facility allows us to remind our national audience of our strong reputation for clinical care."

The University of Minnesota name has brand identity and those are the words that most people identify with the facility, says Gordon Alexander, Fairview-University president. The new name, University of Minnesota Medical Center, was chosen based on consumer research and to better reflect what patients and health care providers have always called it--University Hospital, he says.

The U has owned or operated a hospital on its Twin Cities campus for almost a century. The Elliot Memorial Hospital, dedicated in 1911, was the first of several medical facilities at the U. In 1986, the University consolidated its main health care services under one roof, resulting in University Hospital--a full-service, practitioner-training hospital.

The new name applies to the medical center's campus adjacent to the U's Academic Health Center complex on the East Bank and its Riverside campus at 25th Avenue S. and Riverside Avenue. On June 1, the Fairview-University Children's Hospital within the medical center will also be renamed. The 207-bed facility, which is the region's largest children's hospital, will be known as the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital.

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