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GSV unlikely to see many changes after merger

January 9, 2019 GMT

Even though the merger of Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and Sanford Health is now complete, one local GSV official doesn’t expect changes on the Hastings campus in the near future.

“Companies like this don’t do large acquisitions — remember, we have over 200 centers in over 20 states — without a plan,” Paul Hamelink, executive manager of the GSV Hastings campus, said. “I know they have been working very closely with Good Sam for the last year-plus.”

The merger was completed Jan. 1.

The organizations began exploring an affiliation in late 2017. The Society’s membership overwhelmingly voted in favor of the affiliation in June 2018, which cleared regulatory review before the deal closed.

“There’s a lot of pieces that go into something like this,” Hamelink said. “For example, all of our licenses — we do business with Medicare, Medicaid, our nursing homes and assisted living, they’re all licensed facilities.”

Sanford had to take over those licenses before the merger could be complete.

Both Sanford and the Good Samaritan Society are based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and have similar footprints, based mainly in the Midwest. The combined organization now employs nearly 50,000 people and offers health services spanning the continuum of life, including clinics, hospitals, health insurance and senior care services.

“We know that bringing these two organizations under one umbrella has many benefits for those we serve,” Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health president and CEO, said in a news release announcing the merger. “Being on the forefront of the changing health care landscape made this historic opportunity a reality.”

Hamelink said the merger should benefit the GSV Hastings campus.

“Sanford is a very well-run company,” he said. “I’m not saying Good Sam wasn’t but I think Sanford is a very well-run company. Sanford’s larger, has a lot of resources. I think they are going to bring a lot to the table, a lot of managerial expertise, corporate expertise, resources. We’re all very excited for that.”

With the Good Samaritan Society affiliation, Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, delivers integrated health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance to people in 26 states and nine countries.

The combined organization now has 48,622 employees, more than $5 billion in annual revenue, 44 medical centers, 482 clinics, more than 200 senior living facilities, 190,000 Sanford Health Plan members, 1,382 physicians, 973 advanced practice providers and 9,703 registered nurses delivering care in more than 80 specialty areas

So far, no name change has been announced for the organization. The Good Samaritan Society name has enormous value in post-acute and senior care, so Sanford Health will continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

David Horazdovsky remains CEO of the Society and has joined Sanford Health’s corporate leadership team. Randy Bury has transitioned to president of the Society from his previous role as Sanford Health’s chief administrative officer.

“With the affiliation complete, leaders can begin the exciting work of exchanging knowledge and developing ideas to better serve our patients and residents,” Krabbenhoft said. “Bringing the expertise together will create a national model on how to deliver exceptional care through the full spectrum of life.”

“The shared heritage of Sanford and the Society will guide the transformation of both organizations as a leader in providing care through the life span,” Horazdovsky said in the news release. “We look forward to expanding our horizons and providing care to more people in more places.”