Two of the largest companies in South Dakota have officially merged. 

Together Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society now employ nearly 50,000 people and have locations in more than half of the country’s states.  

The Good Samaritan Society has its national headquarters in Sioux Falls, but in recent years South Dakota’s senior care sector has had to make big cuts. 

“The long-term care industry is struggling,” Sanford Health CEO and President Kelby Krabbenhoft said.

Three nursing homes in the state have closed over the past three years; two more are scheduled to close by next month. 

Even though they’re not all affiliated with Good Sam, the leaders hope this merger will help change that trend. 

“We thought we would both be stronger together by combining what each organization does respectively,”  Good Samaritan Society CEO David Horazdovsky said.

“No one else has put together a long-term care organization of that magnitude with a hospital-based system of this magnitude in the country before,” Krabbenhoft said.

Krabbenhoft says the merger will allow the organizations to better place patients in the right place after a hospital stay–whether it’s a nursing home, assisted living facility or a basic care apartment. That would lead to financial savings and a better quality of life for patients.

“Sanford secondly is bringing resources to the table in terms of more talent and some financial security that allows them to take the risks they need to to execute on their plan,” Krabbenhoft said.

Krabbenhoft is optimistic that the unique concept will not be used just here in South Dakota, but all across the nation in the future.

“It’s going to provoke us to think bigger and think more opportunistically,” Krabbenhoft said.

“Knowing what we do is going to be extremely important in the future,” Horazdovsky said.

Future services that will impact thousands, if not millions, of people all across the country.

Because of the merger, Krabbenhoft says some employees will see changes with job responsibilities, but there won’t be any job cuts or more nursing home closures at this time.