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News releases

Dec. 11, 2013
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McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Sanford Health partner to expand services
Collaboration to bring physicians, facilities to western North Dakota

(Watford City, ND, and Bismarck, ND)—McKenzie County Healthcare Systems in Watford City, ND, and Sanford Health announced today a collaboration to expand key medical services to western North Dakota, a region currently experiencing rapid growth due to the Bakken oil boom.

Specifically, the collaboration will bring more specialty physicians to the community, expand air ambulance services and provide a new facility to support the health care needs of oil-producing companies.

“By working together, we can meet some of the great needs of this rapidly changing region,” said Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems CEO. “Partnering with Sanford Health means we can do more for our patients than we could do alone.”

In coordination with McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Sanford Health plans to have specialists provide outreach care in Watford City in early 2014. Visiting Sanford specialists will include cardiologists, orthopedic specialists and pediatricians. Other specialty services may be added depending on the need at a later date.

Beginning spring 2014, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems will embark on the largest construction project in its 62-year history. Located just east of the existing Good Shepherd Home, the project will include a new hospital with expanded emergency room and operating room capability, a new clinic with triple the exam space and complete renovation and addition to the Good Shepherd Home.

“McKenzie County Healthcare Systems is making a great investment in Watford City with its commitment to build a new hospital, clinic and nursing home,” said Craig Lambrecht, MD, Sanford Bismarck president. “We look forward to working with McKenzie County Healthcare Systems to enhance its clinic expansion by bringing in our specialty physicians and sharing space in the new facility.”

Sanford Health will also expand its AirMed service in western North Dakota. Sanford will work with the Watford City ambulance board to determine how to best meet the region’s needs. This expansion will include a fixed-wing plane or helicopter service.

Additionally, Sanford Health will lease land from McKenzie County Healthcare Systems for one if its O.P.C Mobile Med facilities, a simple and convenient health care program Sanford Health is launching specifically for oil-producing companies.

“Both organizations have long recognized the tremendous need for health care in western North Dakota,” said Nate White, Sanford Health chief operating officer. “This partnership isn’t the only solution to meet that demand, but it is another representation of both McKenzie County Health Systems’ and Sanford Health’s commitment to deliver health care as close to home as possible.”

“Our commitment has always been to the patients and families of this community,” added Kelly. “We are here today because of the hard work and support of this community, and we will continually look for new opportunities to keep health care a strong community asset for our friends and neighbors.”

About McKenzie County Healthcare Systems
McKenzie County Healthcare Systems is a faith-based organization, dedicated to professional, compassionate and quality healthcare. Close to home. Where it belongs. This integrated health system located in Watford City North Dakota consists of the McKenzie County Memorial Hospital, Good Shepherd Home, Horizons Assisted Living Center, McKenzie County Clinic and the Connie Wold Wellness Center. Together these organizations serve the healthcare needs of western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly a billion dollars in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit sanfordhealth.org.
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