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Medcenter One and Sanford Health Take Next Step Toward Potential Merger

Bismarck-Mandan based Medcenter One and Fargo based Sanford Health announce memorandum of understanding and move forward with potential merger discussions

Medcenter One(Bismarck, ND) – Medcenter One, based in Bismarck-Mandan, ND, and Sanford Health, based in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD, announced they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) and agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and are moving forward with discussions regarding a potential merger. Both agreements are non-binding. The MOU defines what the future organization would look like in the event of a merger. Both organizations are sharing financial, legal and business information as part of the due diligence process, and are evaluating how a combined organization could better serve patients and communities and advance our missions. Regulatory filings with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and North Dakota Office of Attorney General are moving forward as well.

“This is a time of great change in healthcare, and it’s also a time of great opportunity,” said Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Medcenter One President/CEO. “We are carefully evaluating this and see it as a positive opportunity for our patients and communities and for both the Medcenter One and Sanford organizations. It’s exciting to see what the possibilities of a combined organization could be.”

Medcenter One and Sanford Health have a similar integrated model, similar culture and a long-standing history of working together. The two health systems are exploring how they can work together on a new level to keep quality healthcare close to home for people all along the Interstate 94 corridor in North Dakota, as well as expand services to meet the growing needs in central and western North Dakota.

“We are excited about the opportunities of what we could do together. Two of Sanford Health’s guiding principles are that care should be delivered as close to home as possible, with access to healthcare provided regionally,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, President and CEO, Sanford Health. “We believe strongly that patients shouldn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes for quality healthcare. We also trust local voices and local boards for idea generation and leadership. Sanford Health truly believes in the power of each local community it serves.”

Medcenter One’s longstanding goal has been to be the health system of choice in central and western North Dakota. Creating large healthcare networks can increase purchasing power, provide cost control and allow for further opportunity to provide specialized care locally. A merger would mean potential growth in organizational size, services, and job creation in central and western North Dakota. Sanford Health has added 1,300 new jobs in the Fargo area since it merged with MeritCare in November 2009.

“Together, as one of the largest healthcare providers in the Midwest and in the country, the organizations would have an even greater voice on the national level in order to help shape the future of healthcare delivery for the people of the Midwest,” added Dr. Lambrecht.

The boards of Medcenter One and Sanford Health will make a final determination about a merger this summer with a possible effective date later in the year.

About Medcenter One
Medcenter One is a non-profit, integrated health system headquartered in Bismarck-Mandan 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 nearly 1000 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, and then a $100 million gift in 2010. These gifts are making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer.

MEDIA NOTES: Please follow this link for high resolution photos of Mr. Krabbenhoft and Dr. Lambrecht, as well as facility photos, or go to

Kim Singer
Public Relations Coordinator
Medcenter One
(701) 323-6312 –

Darren Huber
Sanford Media – Fargo Region
(701) 200-6080 –