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Sanford MeritCare Now Sanford Health

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2010

Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health and MeritCare, the largest not-for-profit rural health care system in the nation, are now collectively known as Sanford Health, in honor of philanthropist and South Dakota businessman Denny Sanford.

"Today, we are all under one name, Sanford Health, with a new mission and vision that hold dear our histories and embrace a new purpose and goals moving forward, fulfilling the promise made during the merger," Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said in a statement.

"We will relentlessly pursuing the perfect patient experience. We make this promise to every patient, as well as to every community we serve."

The Sanford name will now appear in front of all named entities throughout the system.

The two organizations merged in 2009. They include 30 hospitals, 111 clinic location and more than 800 physicians in 70 specialist areas. It has 18,000 employees and is the largest employer in North and South Dakota, but also provides healthcare through partnerships with other organizations in Ireland, Oregon, California and Belize.

Philanthropist Sanford enabled the organization to have a wider reach with his $400 million gift in 2007, a donation that was the largest gift ever to a U.S. healthcare organization.

The name change also comes with a new compensation and benefit plan that will cover all Sanford employees.

The organization is in growth mode, with several construction projects in planning or underway. They include the Sanford-YMCA Wellness Center at Urban Plains in Fargo; an expansion of a clinic in Detroit Lakes, MN; a new clinic in Mayville, ND; a remodeling of Same Day Surgery Center in Fargo; a new hospital in Thief River Falls, MN and a new hospital at Agassiz Crossing in Fargo.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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