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MeritCare-Sanford merger is official today

Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of Sanford Health and MeritCare.

MeritCare and Sanford Health announced today that their planned merger is now official.

Executives of the two health systems have scheduled a news conference at about 2 p.m. today to announce details.

The combined health system will have a service area covering 130,000 square miles in parts of five states, with a population base of 2 million people.

Administrators and consultants have said the merger would enable expanded services and greater efficiencies.

Kelby Krabbenhoft, chief executive of Sanford Health and MeritCare, is expected soon to announce his management team as well as the organization's North Dakota corporate headquarters.