From the December 14, 2006 issue of the West Central Tribune.
WILLMAR- Rice Memorial Hospital formally decided Wednesday to go ahead with a project to develop a regional dental training site and clinic in partnership with the University of Minnesota. The vote Wednesday by the city-owned hospital's board of directors came after months of discussion. Board members split 5-1 on the decision. Steve Cederstrom cast the single dissenting vote after expressing concern about whether the program will remain financially sustainable. Douglas Allen, Richard Engan, Verna Kelly, Wayne Larson and John Lindstrom voted in favor. Allen said the project is "the right thing to do." "I think the need is clear. I think there will be spin-off benefits to the hospital," he said. "I think it fits right with the mission." The vote authorizes negotiations to begin on an affiliation agreement with the University of Minnesota.