The two largest medical providers in the Dakotas have completed a merger.
Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health and Fargo-based MeritCare will serve 620,000 patients in six states and have revenue of about $2 billion.
CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said the new organization will have a national impact on health care. He compares Sanford-MeritCare with Johns Hopkins, or the Cleveland Clinic. He expects the organization to lead in research and innovation.
"Talking about those things is not comfortable because it's a new place for us," Krabbenhoft said. "We're not trying to crash anybody else's party, but at the same time it's an expectation of about two million people in that region that this organization will deliver on those promises."
Among the expansion plans for the new organization are a new heart hospital and research center in Sioux Falls and a new critical access hospital in Thief River Falls.
The new organization has more than 17,000 employees.