Sanford Health announces plans to merge with Minneapolis-based Fairview Health

Sanford Center, the headquarters for Sanford Health, in northeast Sioux Falls.
Sanford Center, the headquarters for Sanford Health, in northeast Sioux Falls.

Sanford Health announced Tuesday its plans to combine with Fairview Health Services, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit health system.

The two have signed a non-binding letter of intent to combine, creating a new health system set up to better serve the rural, urban and indigenous populations across the Midwest, according to a press release.

Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services will remain nonprofit entities with the name of the parent company being Sanford Health. The two systems will each have their own leadership and regional boards in the markets they serve.

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“As a combined system, we can do more to expand access to complex and highly specialized care, utilize innovative technology and provide a broader range of virtual services, unlock greater research capabilities and transform the care delivery experience to ensure every patient receives the best care no matter where they live," Sanford CEO Bill Gassen said in the release.

Gassen will serve as president and CEO of system, with Fairview CEO James Hereford serving as Co-CEO the first year, post-closing.

Fairview Health Services
Fairview Health Services

“Fairview Health Services has found a partner that shares our midwestern values and our commitment to affordable, accessible and equitable care delivery,” Hereford said. “We are uniquely positioned to … apply our combined resources to positively impact the wellbeing of our patients and communities today and for decades to come.”

Sanford Health, which is based in Sioux Falls, is the largest rural health system in the United States, servicing more than one million patients worldwide.

Fairview Health Services was founded in 1906. The health care system includes 31,00 employees across 11 hospitals, 80 clinics and 36 other medical facilities.

The deal is anticipated to close in 2023 with the signing of a definitive agreement, pending necessary reviews and closing conditions.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Sanford Health to merge with Minnesota's Fairview Health system