BISMARCK, N.D.— Medcenter One and Sanford Health have determined they are stronger together. On July 2 they officially merged and Sanford Health now features more than 1,200 physicians and 25,000 employees in seven states.
Sanford Health will invest $200 million over the next 10 years to enhance health care services in Bismarck-Mandan and throughout western North Dakota, including a new super clinic in Dickinson, the gateway to the regions bustling oil fields. The clinic will feature all the current services provided in Dickinson along with space for additional physicians, a walk-in clinic, an ambulatory surgery center and diagnostic services.
The benefit for patients will be greater access to quality care, from primary to highly specialized care that is typically only available in large urban centers. Together the two promise to recruit more physicians, expand air transport and trauma services, provide the latest medical technology and innovations in care, and expand and upgrade services and facilities to meet the growing needs of people all across North Dakota.
“All along this journey the response has been incredibly positive. This merger takes the magic of momentum that was created by the 2009 merger of Sanford and MeritCare, and extends that momentum through the entire state of North Dakota, creating a new level of medical sophistication and impact on the ability to provide care—one life at a time,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.
Medcenter One will operate under the Sanford Health name. Bismarck-Mandan will become the epicenter of the new western region of Sanford Health, joining Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo as a regional center for the sprawling network of clinics and hospitals covering approximately 200,000 square miles in seven states, and now larger than North and South Dakota combined.
“This is a game changer for North Dakota health care,” said Craig Lambrecht, M.D., president and CEO of Sanford Bismarck. “North Dakota is booming and Medcenter One is a strong partner well-positioned for growth. From 2006-2011 Medcenter One saw increases of 34 percent in emergency visits, 17 percent in births and 20 percent in clinic visits. In 2011 alone, Sanford Fargo saw a spike in hospital admissions of 9 percent. By coming together, we will be able to better meet the growing health care needs of our entire state.”
In March 2012, North Dakota surpassed Alaska in becoming the second leading state in crude oil production trailing only Texas. In 2005, there were 4,500 oil workers in the state; in 2012, there are more than 35,000. In 2011 North Dakota’s economy outpaced every other state with the fastest growth in personal income, jobs and home prices. Opportunity abounds in North Dakota, well beyond the oil fields. Together, the two systems will work aggressively to better care for growing patient population.
“When the Board looked at the merger, we saw nothing but positives for our patients,” said Pat Durick, chairman of the Medcenter One Board of Directors. “The work Sanford Health is doing bringing cutting-edge research and highly specialized care to rural areas and its commitment to the communities it serves truly is changing health care for the better. We are excited to be a part of those efforts.”
Medcenter One and Sanford face similar challenges. Both serve geographic areas that are sparsely populated. Merging provides the population base for operational efficiencies and growth opportunities needed in order to support the advanced care patients depend on. Size helps to bear financial risks, gain access to capital, improve purchasing power, actively manage the delivery of care, invest in high-impact technologies as well as increase participation in research and development. Since the 2009 Sanford-MeritCare merger, savings of $19.6 million in supplies and services has been achieved. Integrated health systems are proven leaders in safe, high-quality care that is cost-effective. A combined organization is a means to ensuring that people all across the state of North Dakota continue to have access to high quality health care close to home.
About Medcenter One
Medcenter One is a non-profit, integrated health system headquartered in Bismarck-Mandan North Dakota with clinic locations in Bismarck, Dickinson, Jamestown, Mandan and Minot. Medcenter One consists of a 228-bed hospital, four multi-specialty clinics, a college of nursing, seven primary care clinics, four walk-in clinics, three kidney dialysis centers, three occupational health clinics, four long-term care facilities and a comprehensive group of health services in western and central North Dakota. Key accreditations and quality awards include: Joint Commission, American College of Surgeons Level II Emergency and Trauma Center and Magnet Recognition Program®.
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and 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, Ghana, Israel and Mexico.
Sanford Health includes 34 hospitals, 116 clinic locations and more than 1,000 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, multiple research centers, eradicating breast cancer and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit sanfordhealth.org.