Pine County has only one hospital, which is in Sandstone. The original was built in 1956. By the mid-1980’s, however, it was clear that the hospital could not survive without additional funding. Establishing the North Pine Area Hospital District saved the hospital in 1989. The original hospital was replaced in 2017 by the Hospital District.

Hospital Districts Created to Ensure Quality Rural Health Care

Fortunately, the Minnesota legislature created Hospital Districts to give taxing authority to communities for funding rural health care services and facilities.


Learn more about why Hospital Districts were created.

Community Jobs and Economic Benefits

Research indicates that typically 10 -15 % of jobs in a rural community are from health care services. The Pine Healthcare Campus kept the hospital here and generated new jobs and economic benefit with the addition of the Golden Horizons assisted living faciity. Additionally, the Hospital District was able to attract a nursing home, Sandstone Health Care Center, to the old hospital facility, keeping these jobs and preventing the possible demolition of the facility. 


The possibility of attracting new businesses to the area is also improved with the Pine Healthcare Campus as a major operation in the Sandstone Business Park. This added economic development will help support our schools; increase new home sales; and keep and attract a quality workforce.

The economic contributions from Essentia Health - Sandstone itself are significant with over:

  • 300 employees

  • $10 million in annual payroll

  • $4 million in professional fees, purchased services and supplies

  • $885,000 in average annual routine capital/fixed assets invested

Establishing The Hospital District Saves Hospital

Six cities and eleven townships rallied together to take advantage of this law and established the North Pine Area Hospital District in 1989. Since then the financial position has improved and many new health care services were added.


Learn more about your Hospital District city and township members and Board.


Learn more about the history of the Hospital.

Partners of The Hospital District

The following is a relationship chart of the North Pine Area Hospital District health care partners. The Hospital District built the Pine Healthcare Campus and leases to Essentia, Gateway and Thrifty White.  Other health care partners of the Hospital District include the two senior living facilities, Golden Horizons (assisted & independent living and memory care) and Sandstone Healthcare Campus (skilled nursing care).

Leasing Partners of Pine Healthcare Campus

  • Essentia Health

  • Gateway Family Health Clinic

  • Thrifty White Pharmacy

Other healthcare partners of Hospital District

  • Golden Horizons

  • Sandstone Health Center

Hospital District Partnerships

The Hospital District built the Pine Healthcare Campus and leases the hospital facility to Essentia who manages and staffs the hospital services. 


Hospital District partnerships also include Gateway Family Health Clinic and Thrifty White pharmacy who joined the new Pine Healthcare Campus in October 2017.


Additionally, Golden Horizons, a senior care facility adjacent to the Campus, opened the summer of 2017. A skilled nursing home, Sandstone Health Care Center, took over the operations of the former Essentia nursing home on May 17.

Funding from Lease Payments and

Tax Levy

The Hospital District is funded by lease payments from Essentia and the tax levy, which averages between 2 – 3% of property tax and has remained flat since 1999.


Learn more about the Tax Levy