Good Samaritan merger with clinical chain sparks growth

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Horazdovsky: Deal averts potential layoffs and other disruption.
Horazdovsky: Deal averts potential layoffs and other disruption.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and Sanford, a healthcare system with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics, plan to merge by Jan. 1, leaders of each have announced.

Governing bodies for the two organizations approved the affiliation in late June, agreeing to merge 19,000 Good Samaritan employees in 24 states with 28,000 Sanford employees in nine states.

Once the nation's largest nonprofit provider of skilled nursing services, the largely rural Good Samaritan has actively contemplated shedding assets in recent years amid tough market conditions.

Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford, and David J. Horazdovsky, president and CEO of the Good Samaritan Society, both indicated the merger will mean growth and more opportunities for employees to collaborate — rather than facing potential layoffs.
“We see exciting opportunities, and each and every one of our employees is important to the future,” Horazdovsky said during a Facebook Live event. “We're in a growth mode. Our employees are the core of all that we do.”

The merger will need approval from the Federal Trade Commission, a process that could take months. If ultimately approved, Horazdovsky would become president of the new Good Samaritan under Sanford, while Krabbenhoft would be president and CEO of the larger organization.

Both companies are based in South Dakota.

“This is a kinship that has found itself and found each other after a long journey that started very similarly in our heritage,” Krabbenhoft said.

He added that Good Samaritan leaders should be commended for their vision.

“This forward-thinking plan will become a national model to serve communities with exceptional care and value through the full spectrum of one's life,” Krabbenhoft said.