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January 17, 2012 08:56 AM

Sanford, Medcenter One Discuss Possible Merger


Two large health systems in the Dakotas are talking about a possible merger.

Officials from Sanford Health and Bismarck's Medcenter One have confirmed they have started exploratory talks.

Sanford Health is based in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D. It bills itself as the nation's largest not-for-profit rural health care provider. Medcenter is one of two hospitals in North Dakota's capital city.

Sanford and Medcenter have little overlap in their service areas, except in Jamestown, where both have clinics. But Sanford executive vice president Andrew Richburg says the two organizations have a "history of partnership and collaboration."

If a merger happens it would be the biggest for Sanford since the then-Sioux Falls-based health system combined with Fargo-based Meritcare in 2009.

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