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Clearwater County Board Signs Clearwater Health Services Management Agreement with Sanford Health

Clearwater County Board announced that it has signed a six month management agreement with Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota for Clearwater Health Services (CHS).

(Bemidji, MN) –Clearwater County Board announced that it has signed a six month management agreement with Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota for Clearwater Health Services (CHS). Once approved by Sanford the contract will be effective April 1. CHS includes the county’s Memorial Hospital in Bagley, with the attached CHS clinic; the Clearwater Ambulance Service; and the CHS clinic in Clearbrook, Minn.

"This six month partnership with Sanford will supply us with the expertise needed to provide a stable environment for our patients and staff. This time will allow us to evaluate the health care needs of our communities, and develop requests for proposals for the future sale of CHS," says Daniel Stenseng, Clearwater County Board Chair.

“Providing access to quality health care for patients, close to home, is an important piece of Sanford’s philosophy. This partnership has the potential to do exactly that,” says Paul Hanson, President Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota.

As part of the agreement Sanford Health will provide CHS with leadership from Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, based out of Bemidji. During the agreement CHS will remain under local community ownership and will be governed by the local board of directors. Further assessment will determine the future of the relationship between Sanford and CHS.

Sanford will provide management/consulting services in several areas during the six month agreement. Benefits of a CHS Sanford partnership include: continued availability of local care, access to additional services and doctors, efficiencies that come with being part of a larger health system such as management/consulting services, and readily available expertise to help address today's increasingly complex health care environment.

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 of Northern Minnesota, inclusive of Sanford Bemidji, has more than 1,450 employees, 75 doctors and 118 acute care beds and is part of the Sanford Health system based in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD. Sanford is the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities in eight states.

Sanford Health includes 32 hospitals, 111 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 healthcare organization in America. This gift is making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit

Lindsey Wangberg  |  Regional Marketing Manager  |  Bemidji
218-407-1490 |