BISMARCK, N.D. — Sanford Health is looking to absorb another health care provider in the Dakotas.

Mid Dakota Clinic CEO Marvin Lein has told staff in an email that doctors have agreed to a merger, tentatively by the end of the year, The Bismarck Tribune reported ( ).

“We will spend the rest of this year working with Sanford to create a smooth merger transition,” Lein wrote.

Mid Dakota has nearly 100 physicians who serve patients in the Bismarck-Mandan area. It is a founding member of the PrimeCare health group, along with Bismarck-based CHI St. Alexius Health — a Sanford competitor — which has previously said it will continue to work with Mid Dakota if it chooses to join Sanford.

Sanford notified its employees of the potential merger in September.

“Our discussions have been very positive and, as a result, are moving to the next step,” CEO and President Kelby Krabbenhoft and other executives said in a letter to staff.

Sanford Health was formed in 2009 when Sanford in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, merged with Meritcare in Fargo, North Dakota. Three years later, the new Sanford Health bought Medcenter One in Bismarck, with its hospital in the capital city and clinics in five other North Dakota cities.

Sanford now bills itself as one of the largest health systems in the nation, with hundreds of hospitals and clinics in nine states and three countries and 27,000 employees. It’s the largest employer in the Dakotas.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

VIAThe Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.