Sanford & UnityPoint Announce Merger

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Sanford Health has signed a letter of intent to explore a merger between the Sioux Falls-based hospital company and UnityPoint Health of Des Moines.

According to a press release from Sanford Health, the decision follows considerable exploration between leadership teams from each organization. The two organizations will build on their strengths in clinical care, research, innovation and education to deliver greater health outcomes and value in communities in the Midwest and around the world.

With more than $11 billion in operating revenue, the combined company would rank among the top 15 largest nonprofit health systems in the country. The new organization would employ more than 83,000 staff and 2,600 physicians and carry out operations in 26 states and nine countries, including hospitals, clinics, health plans and networks, post-acute care, research, innovation and other lines of business, according to Sanford Health.

The press release says that while the organizations are still in discussions, they have agreed on certain principles that will guide their work during the next few months:

Leadership: The new company would be led by Sanford president and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft and UnityPoint president and CEO Kevin Vermeer. Krabbenhoft would serve as president and CEO, and Vermeer would serve as senior executive vice president.

Unified Board: A new governing Board would be established for the new company, made up of representatives from both legacy organizations, plus additional unaffiliated Board members with relevant national industry experience and expertise. UnityPoint Health would recommend the inaugural Board chair.

Care delivery: Both organizations would continue to operate their respective fully-integrated medical groups and maintain longstanding relationships with independent physicians, hospitals and other health care partners.

The transaction is subject to various regulatory reviews. Timelines are still fluid, but leaders intend for the transaction to be completed, pending regulatory reviews, by the end of 2019.

About UnityPoint Health
UnityPoint Health is one of the nation’s most integrated health systems. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 32 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its 9 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin. UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 30,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to become the Midwest’s premier health system known for redesigning the health care experience. For more information, visit

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition. For information, visit or Sanford Health News.


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