Our History

History of Essentia Health

Essentia Health is a network of hospitals, clinics, and related health care facilities serving patients in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. In 1997 St. Mary’s Medical Center and its affiliates merged with the Duluth Clinic system to form SMDC- St. Mary’s-Duluth Clinic health system. This partnership formed the base for what would become Essentia Health. In 2001, Miller-Dwan Medical Center joined SMDC health system. Essentia Health was then formed in January 2004 through a partnership of the Benedictine Health System and SMDC Health System.

In January 2008, Innovis Health joined Essentia Health. At that time, the Benedictine Health System and its senior care facilities became independent again, while the acute care hospitals and clinics remained with Essentia as Essentia Community Hospitals and Clinics. In the summer of 2010, Essentia Health completed the integration of the SMDC Health System, Brainerd Lakes Health, Innovis Health, Essentia Community Hospitals and Clinics, and the Essentia Institute of Rural Health.

Today, Essentia Health continues to seek opportunities to grow its network of physicians, health care providers, hospitals, and clinics. By combining resources, we bring economies of scale and depth of experience to health care delivery in the rural communities we serve.