Sanford Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System intend to combine

On Wednesday, Sanford Health and Marshfield Clinic Health System publically announced their intent to combine.

Sanford Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, is the largest rural health system in the nation.

Marshfield Clinic Health System serves rural Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan, with their flagship hospital and campus in Marshfield, WI.

This is the second time in the last two years that Sanford Health has announced a nonbinding Memorandum of Understanding to combine with another health system.

In 2022, Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health announced an intent to combine, but that potential merger was called off eight months later.

The two organizations are optimistic about the future of rural healthcare with their merger, which is expected to go through by the end of the year, following a regulatory process and closing.

“Partnering with Sanford Health presents an incredible opportunity for our organizations to unify and establish the premier rural health system in the nation,” said Brian Hoerneman, M.D., interim CEO of Marshfield Clinic Health System.

If the merger goes through, Sanford Health will be the name of the parent company, with headquarters remaining in Sioux Falls and the Sanford CEO becoming the CEO of the combined healthcare system, the press release says.

Marshfield Clinic Health Systems would become a region in Sanford Health and maintain its own regional board of directors, a regional physician executive council and a regional brand presence.

Between the two healthcare entities, there are about 56,000 employees, 56 hospitals and 4,300 providers. The press release says that there will be no change for employees if the merger goes through.