Sanford Health, UnityPoint Health to join brands

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They look to be the place for personalized primary care in the midwest

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. and DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — A South Dakota hospital and Iowa hospital have announced they will join their brands and look to be the place for personalized primary care in the Midwest.

Sanford Health and UnityPoint Health have signed a letter of intent to join their brands. This was decided after extensive examination between the two leadership teams.

“Sanford and UnityPoint are two successful systems intent on controlling our own destiny. We believe that in the very near future, fully integrated health systems will drive greater value through affordable options for high-quality health care to patients, governments and employers. The combination of Sanford and UnityPoint will help both organizations better meet this need, creating a new system positioned for continued growth across a broad geography,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.

“Our organizations share a deep commitment to exceptional patient care and a vision for transforming and sustaining health care in our communities. We are approaching our discussions very purposefully, with a clear and common vision for success. First and foremost, our focus is on people. Working together, we will find new ways to broaden access to care – beyond the traditional settings – and take greater responsibility for the health of the populations we serve,” UnityPoint Health president and CEO Kevin Vermeer said.

Once the two companies combine, they would have more than $11 billion in operating revenue and would rank among the top 15 largest nonprofit health systems in the country. The new organization would have over 83,000 staff members and 2,600 physicians. They would be able to have operations in 26 different states and in nine different countries. These operations would include hospitals, clinics, health plans and networks, post-acute care, research, innovation and other lines of business.

Although the two companies are in the process of working out some decisions, they have agreed on a few principles that will help guide them during the upcoming months:

  • Leadership: The new company would be led by Krabbenhoft as CEO and president and Vermeer as senior executive vice president.
  • Unified Board: They plan to establish a new governing Board. It would consist of representatives from both companies and additional unaffiliated members. The inaugural Board chair will be approved by UnityPoint.
  • Care delivery: They both will continue to serve their respective fully-integrated medical groups. They will also continue their long-term relationships with independent physicians, hospitals, and other health care partners.

“We will work tirelessly to find the next cures for diseases like type 1 diabetes and breast cancer; train and grow our own physicians, nurses and other medical professionals who commit to providing care in rural America; and offer innovative health and wellness products and telemedicine services to help people live better, get care closer to home and stay healthier,” said Krabbenhoft.

“As trusted health care brands with deep Midwestern roots, our organizations have worked hard to establish strong relationships in the communities we serve, whether that be a small rural town or a location across the globe. Together, we will build on these relationships to create new opportunities to meet unique community needs and thrive in an ever-changing environment,” said Vermeer.

This agreement still has to go through many regulatory reviews and timelines are still in the works. The leaders aim for the agreement to be completed, pending the reviews, by the end of 2019.

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