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Sanford to Partner with Clearwater Health

Sanford Health announced a Letter of Intent (LOI) today with Clearwater Health Services (CHS).

(Bemidji, MN) –Sanford Health announced a Letter of Intent (LOI) today with Clearwater Health Services (CHS). CHS includes Memorial Hospital in Bagley, the attached CHS clinic; the Clearwater Ambulance Service; and the CHS clinic in Clearbrook, Minn.

The LOI is a non-binding first step in a potential alliance. It allows both organizations to complete due diligence which includes financial, legal and business information that will help validate if joining together is a good decision.

"This partnership with Sanford will supply us with the expertise needed to provide a stable environment for patients and staff," says Daniel Stenseng, Clearwater County Board Chair. “Sanford provides a long history of successful health care management that will allow staff to focus on caring for patients.”

Over the next several months, both organizations will work together on additional analyses, due diligence and communications to develop a final agreement and complete necessary regulatory applications.

“This partnership aligns with Sanford’s philosophy of providing access to quality health care for patients, close to home. This is the perfect time to pursue ways we can work together to improve and grow health care services in northern Minnesota,” says Paul Hanson, president Sanford Bemidji.

As part of the agreement, Sanford would purchase many of the assets of CHS and lease the properties for the next three years. Sanford would evaluate the scope and services needed in the future. Staff would be employed by Sanford. CHS currently has a management contract with Sanford.

About CHS

Bagley, population 1,235, is located 28 miles west of Bemidji and 110 miles northeast of Fargo-Moorhead. The Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital owned by Clearwater County and established in 1949. Clearwater Health Services employs approximately 80 people, serving residents of Clearwater County with a combined county population of approximately 8,250.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health in the Bemidji region has more than 1,450 employees, 75 doctors and 118 beds and is part of the Sanford Health network. Sanford Health is based in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD consists of two long-standing organizations that merged in 2009. Sanford is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 112 communities in seven states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ireland, Africa, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 34 hospitals, 116 clinic locations and more than 900 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 20,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's $400 million gift in 2007, the largest gift ever to a health care organization in America. This gift is making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, eradicating breast cancer, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit

Lindsey Wangberg  |  Marketing Director – Sanford Bemidji
218-407-1490 |