Sanford: Only the name has changedDETROIT LAKES, Minn. — On July 20, when MeritCare officially became Sanford Health, the Detroit Lakes clinic received quite a few hang-ups, by callers thinking they had dialed the wrong number.
By: By Pippi Mayfield , Forum Communications Co. , The Jamestown Sun
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — On July 20, when MeritCare officially became Sanford Health, the Detroit Lakes clinic received quite a few hang-ups, by callers thinking they had dialed the wrong number.
After a merger with the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health, MeritCare now goes by Sanford Health. But only the name has changed. The same providers and care will be given at the Detroit Lakes clinic — and all other locations for that matter.
“Nothing is going away. The only thing is, how much more do we add? That’s the question,” Regional Clinic Manager Breanna Adams said.
For those who don’t know where the Sanford name originates, it comes from T. Denny Sanford, the man who donated $400 million in 2007 to Sioux Valley Health System in Sioux Falls. Sanford lives in South Dakota and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in psychology.
A story told by Kelby Krabbenhoft, who served as CEO of Sioux Valley Health System and is now of Sanford Health, is that he got the donation and told Sanford that he would like to use Sanford’s last name.
Sanford declined, saying he didn’t need his name on anything, he just wanted to give the money.
Krabbenhoft convinced Sanford to use his last name because of the character behind it. Sanford has made several large donations over the years in the health care field, including the T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Children’s Home Society of South Dakota and the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota.
“After long deliberation, Denny said, ‘fine you can use my name,’” Adams explained. “He also said, ‘at least my last name wasn’t Krabbenhoft.’”
Sanford made his fortune as owner of the First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, among the nation’s top credit card providers. He is now the chairman and CEO of United National Corp.
Sanford’s net worth is roughly $1 billion, and he has made the Forbes list of richest people in the world several years running.
Knowing his place isn’t in the health care industry, Sanford isn’t involved in the health business. Instead, he donated his money and serves as an investor.
On Nov. 2, 2009, MeritCare and Sanford Health officially merged.
“In order for two organizations to function, you’re going to need one name,” Adams said. Thus MeritCare is gone and Sanford Health has taken over as the name of the healthcare facilities.
“A lot of things on the surface have changed — obviously the way we answer the phone, signage, logo, name — but the way we deliver services, that is not going to change,” Adams said. “You’re still going to get care from the same providers that have been in Detroit Lakes, and the same staff will be taking care of you.”
Better use of technology and better recruitment for physicians are a couple of the changes that will be seen in the future “because of our organizational status will be larger. There’s going to be over 18,000 employees, 900 physicians within the organization.”
There are five pillars of excellence Sanford Health focuses on — orthopedics of sports medicine, children, women, cancer and heart.
“That’s what we are really striving for, and we’re carrying that over into Detroit Lakes,” Adams said.
There are also resources being pooled for the research and cure of Type 1 diabetes.
“We want to be compared with Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, that sort of reputation,” she said. “That starts at a higher level with the large corporation, but all of that mission and vision trickles down to the smaller sites, just like Detroit Lakes, to carry that out.”
All of the regional sites will remain, and possibly grow more in the future.
As for insurance coverage, there shouldn’t be any changes there either.
Pippi Mayfield is a reporter at the Detroit Lakes (Minn.)
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