Bismarck, ND — The health system that runs the medical facilities in Sheldon, Rock Rapids, and several other area towns has announced that they’re looking to expand again — further into North Dakota.
Sanford Health had been Sioux Valley Health System for several years, changing it’s name to Sanford Health after a $400 million donation from businessman T. Denny Sanford in February, 2007. Sanford merged with Fargo-based MeritCare in November, 2009.
Now Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota-based Medcenter One and Sanford Health have announced a memorandum of understanding and are moving forward with potential merger discussions.
The agreements are non-binding. The memorandum of understanding defines what the future organization would look like in the event of a merger. Both organizations are sharing financial, legal and business information as part of the due diligence process, and are evaluating how a combined organization could better serve patients and communities and advance their missions. Regulatory filings with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and North Dakota Office of Attorney General are moving forward as well.
Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Medcenter One President and CEO says that they are carefully evaluating this and see it as a positive opportunity for their patients and communities and for both the Medcenter One and Sanford organizations.
Medcenter One and Sanford Health have a similar integrated model, similar culture and a long-standing history of working together. The two health systems are exploring how they can work together on a new level to keep quality healthcare close to home for people all along the Interstate 94 corridor in North Dakota, as well as expand services to meet the growing needs in central and western North Dakota.
“We are excited about the opportunities of what we could do together. Two of Sanford Health’s guiding principles are that care should be delivered as close to home as possible, with access to healthcare provided regionally,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, President and CEO, Sanford Health. “We believe strongly that patients shouldn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes for quality healthcare. We also trust local voices and local boards for idea generation and leadership. Sanford Health truly believes in the power of each local community it serves.”
Medcenter One’s longstanding goal has been to be the health system of choice in central and western North Dakota. Creating large healthcare networks can increase purchasing power, provide cost control and allow for further opportunity to provide specialized care locally. A merger would mean potential growth in organizational size, services, and job creation in central and western North Dakota. Sanford Health has added 1,300 new jobs in the Fargo area since it merged with MeritCare in November 2009.