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UnityPoint, Sanford merger is scrapped

Combination would have included Trinity Regional Medical Center

UnityPoint Health will not be merging with South Dakota-based Sanford Health, leaders of both organizations announced Tuesday.

The president and chief executive officer of Sanford Health blamed Des Moines-based UnityPoint Health, which includes Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge, for the failed merger. In a written statement, Kelby Krabbenhoft said the UnityPoint Health board ”failed to embrace the vision.”

”Our conversations regarding a potential merger with UnityPoint Health have ended,” he said. ”We were excited at the opportunity our combination would have provided to create a new health system of national prominence. The executive management teams and physicians worked diligently for 18 months to provide a merger recommendation to the boards. We are disappointed that the UnityPoint Health board failed to embrace the vision.”

UnityPoint Health officials did not comment on the reason for the collapse of the merger proposal. In a written statement, they reported that ”after significant consideration, we will not be moving forward with a formal partnership.”

Kevin Vermeer, president and chief executive officer of UnityPoint Health, said ”I’m tremendously proud of our organization and we will continue to work tirelessly to evaluate any avenue that improves the delivery of health care.”

Although talks had been underway for 18 months, the possible merger was only publicly revealed in June. At that time, it was anticipated that the merger would conclude at the end of this year.

Krabbenhoft would have been the chief executive officer of the merged organization and Vermeer would have been senior executive and vice president.

Sanford Health has 48,600 employees, 44 medical centers, 482 clinics and 200 senior living facilities.

UnityPoint Health has 32,000 employees, 32 hospitals and 280 clinics.