Sanford Health announces ‘intent to develop’ partnership with Intermountain Healthcare


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Changes are coming to Sanford Health. 

The Sioux Falls-based health care system announced it signed “a letter of intent to develop a strategic partnership” with Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare on Monday. 

This would be the third major merger or purchase by Intermountain in about a year. Intermountain bought Heatlhcare Partners of Nevada in 2019 and bought Saltzer in Idaho this year.

Intermountain Health care, based in Salt Lake City, has 24 hospitals and 215 clinics. Most are located in Utah, Idaho and Nevada.  It has more than 41,000 employees and its own insurance plan.

The additions of Sanford, Saltzer and Healthcare Partners of Nevada, now named Intermountain would significantly increase Intermountain Health Care’s size.

Sanford has about 47,000 employees and locations in several states.

“For more than two decades, we’ve been focused on good growth, with the goal of driving innovation and bringing more affordable and accessible healthcare to the communities we serve,” Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health said in a news release.  “Today we’re marking another major milestone in our long history of working to change the course of healthcare across the globe. By coming together with Intermountain Healthcare, we will improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve and strengthen our impact in healthcare delivery and value.”

Formed as Sioux Valley hospital in 1926, the health system changed to Sanford Health in 2007 after billionaire T. Denny Sanford gifted it $400 million. 

The move involving Intermountain Healthcare comes less than two months after a national online investigative journalism website, ProPublica, reported T. Denny Sanford was subject of a child pornography investigation. 

Sanford Health acknowledged the investigation to all of its employees and former South Dakota U.S. Attorney and Attorney General, Marty Jackley, confirmed to KELOLAND News he represents Mr. Sanford.

Sanford officials have announced an 11 a.m. news conference to talk about the announcement.

This is a developing story. Stay with KELOLAND News and for more coverage on-air and online.

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