Sanford Health has decided to halt its merger with a Utah based health care company. This revelation came in a statement released on Friday.

Both organizations announced on Friday that the merger was on indefinite suspension following the organizational changes at Sanford which included the resignation of CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft,

Krabbenhoft was essentially forced to retire early two weeks ago after his careless comments about mask-wearing after having COVID-19.

Those comments may have not only changed the course of his legacy at Sanford but also a merger that would have created a $15 billion company that stretched from the west coast to the midwest.

New Sanford CEO Bill Gassen has taken the reigns and really put a better public face on the health company locally and eluded to the new organizational structure as a reason for halting the merger.

“With this leadership change, it’s an important time to refocus our efforts internally as we assess the future direction of our organization.  We continue to prioritize taking care of our patients, our people, and the communities we serve as we look to shape our path forward.”

Even though it ended badly for Krabbenhoft, he deserves a lot of credit for helping to transform Sioux Valley into what Sanford Health is today.

He was able to take the company to new heights which have brought in multiple health companies to the negotiating table in potential merger talks, but this is the second company to halt a merger after originally committing to the idea.

Moving forward it will be interesting to see what direction Sanford Health will go and if they resume talks with Intermountain Health in the future or with yet another health company in the US.

Regardless of what the plans are, you get the feeling that two weeks into the Bill Gassen regime, the fresh face and new outlook were just what Sanford Health needed at this time.

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