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Sanford Health-MeritCare and Southeast Medical Center Sign Definitive Affiliation Agreement

Southeast Medical Center in Oakes, N.D., and Sanford Health-MeritCare have signed a definitive affiliation agreement.

(Fargo, N.D.) – Southeast Medical Center in Oakes, N.D., and Sanford Health-MeritCare have signed a definitive affiliation agreement with an expected close date of July 1, 2010.

Founded by Drs. Rup and Vani Nagala, Southeast Medical Center includes a system of clinics in Oakes, Gwinner, Forman, Lidgerwood, Ellendale, LaMoure, and Lisbon, N.D.

"We are committed to ensuring the best health care possible in southeastern North Dakota for our rural communities,” said Dr. Rup Nagala, "and a partnership with Sanford Health-MeritCare helps to solidify that commitment.” As the two parties move toward a final agreement, continuity of patient care will remain the top priority.

For Southeast Medical Center, a partnership means:

  •  All employees will keep their jobs and will become employed by Sanford Health-MeritCare.
  • No immediate changes in services, as all current medical care will continue.
  • More highly specialized medical services brought to area communities.
  • Access to the Sanford Health-MeritCare electronic medical record system, which will enhance continuity of care.
  • A more integrated, collaborative network of providers through stronger relationships between primary care providers and specialists associated with Sanford Health-MeritCare.
  • Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and paramedical staff at Southeast Medical Center will have several opportunities for training and health education.
  • An enhancement of recruitment and retention of doctors and other highly skilled medical staff as part of a larger system.
  • Better access to UND School of Medicine and other major research institutions across the nation that bring the latest treatments, medications and research closer to home for people in the service area.

The integration of these strategically located clinics with Sanford Health-MeritCare's vast network of rural facilities will help to bridge coverage across North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota by providing a more robust health care system for rural communities in the greater region.

Southeast Medical Center background:

  • Four physicians with board certifications in family practice, internal medicine, OB/GYN, geriatrics, sports medicine and phlebology.
  • Six certified physician assistants, two certified family nurse practitioners and a physical therapist.
  • 45 full and part-time employees.

For more information about Southeast Medical Center, visit