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UnityPoint and Sanford Call Off Merger

UnityPoint Health and South Dakota-based Sanford Health have called off plans to merge. In June, the two regional health care systems announced plans to combine, and create one of the largest non-profit health care systems in the country.  

In announcing plans on Tuesday to withdraw from a possible merger, UnityPoint President and CEO Kevin Vermeer said after “significant consideration” it decided not to move forward with a formal partnership. And that his health care organization remains strong with or without a partner.

The Des Moines Register quoted the CEO of Sanford, Kelby Krabbenhoft, that he’s disapointed that the board of UnityPoint Health, in his words, “failed to embrace the vision.”

UnityPoint now operates 32 hospitals and has relationships with 280 physician clinics throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin. They include hospitals in Rock Island, Moline, Bettendorf, Muscatine, Dubuque, Peoria, Anamosa, and Carthage, Illinois.

Sanford Health includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries.

The combined company would have ranked among the top 15 largest non-profit health systems in the country. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.