Sanford Health talks possible merger with NW Minnesota's Clearwater Health ServicesThe two health organizations have signed a letter of intent to merge, a declaration that is not binding as both parties review financial and other issues involving a partnership.
By: Forum Communications,
BEMIDJI, Minn. – Sanford Health and Clearwater Health Services announced Thursday that they have taken the first step toward a possible merger.
The two health organizations have signed a letter of intent to merge, a declaration that is not binding as both parties review financial and other issues involving a partnership.
There is no formal timetable for completing a merger, but the “due diligence” review of financial and legal issues is expected to last several months.
Clearwater Health Services includes the county’s Memorial Hospital in Bagley, the attached CHS clinic, the Clearwater Ambulance Service and the CHS clinic in Clearbrook, Minn.
“This partnership with Sanford will supply us with the expertise needed to provide a stable environment for patients and staff,” Daniel Stenseng, Clearwater County board chair, said in a press release. “Sanford provides a long history of successful health care management that will allow staff to focus on caring for patients.”
As part of the agreement, Sanford Health will be purchasing several CHS assets and leasing the facility for three years. All services will be maintained, and Sanford will evaluate the scope and services needed in the future. Staff will be employed by Sanford.
“This is the perfect time to pursue ways we can work together to improve and grow health care services in northern Minnesota,” Paul Hanson, president Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, said in a press release.
The Memorial Hospital in Bagley, Minn., 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.
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 and Sioux Falls, S.D. Sanford is the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care 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 Dakota and South Dakota.
The article is by the Bemidji Pioneer, like the Herald a Forum Communications Co. newspaper.