Associated Press, Published June 10 2010
Sanford Health-MeritCare to drop ‘Meritcare’ from nameUPDATED 8:08 a.m.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A major rural health care provider in the United States is altering its name, as it moves to expand both in the U.S. and abroad.
Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health late last year merged with Fargo, N.D.-based MeritCare, forming Sanford Health-MeritCare. Officials say it is the nation's largest not-for-profit rural health care provider.
Chief Executive Officer Kelby Krabbenhoft said Meritcare is being dropped from the corporate title. He said the shorter name had been a given.
"Everybody knew the name Sanford was unique and a wonderful reflection of the character of a person," Krabbenhoft said, referring to philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who donated $400 million in 2007.
Krabbenhoft said Sanford would visit Fargo in July in connection with the name change.
Former Fargo mayor Bruce Furness, who was part of a group last year that worried MeritCare would become a secondary partner in the merger, said Wednesday that he is convinced the merger will work for the best and that it is OK to drop MeritCare from the name.
"I don't think it's a big issue," he said. "They've demonstrated they want to do some good things here and they want to have a common identity."
The health system on Wednesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new corporate and research center in Sioux Falls, and announced it will build children's clinics in Oregon and Ireland. The growth will give Sanford a total of five children's clinics outside the region, including one it started building this spring in the Central American country of Belize.
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