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Sanford Health changes in Fargo won't affect Bemidji branch

BEMIDJI — Administrative changes at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., won’t have an effect on personnel in Bemidji, according to the local region’s interim president.

Forum News Service reported Thursday that Sanford is buying out a dozen of its administrators under a restructuring plan to save $10 million annually, while also planning to centralize management of system-wide functions.

 That will mean a new office building next to the $500 million medical center that’s currently under construction in Fargo.

Joy Johnson, interim president of Sanford Bemidji, said Thursday the changes won’t have much affect locally.

“Bemidji’s in a little different situation,” said Johnson, who noted that the hospital merged with Sanford only two years ago. “We made a lot of changes at that time and used attrition and found other alternative assignments for people.”

“So, we are not really impacted by that at this point.”

Johnson said, however, having more centralized positions in Fargo may affect relationships with other branches.

“A lot of the functionality within Sanford is going to a more system-wide functionality,” Johnson said. “Whereas we may have had someone in Fargo and someone in Sioux Falls, many of those functions are being integrated into one position.”

Johnson said labor and benefits are about 60 percent of Sanford’s total expenses.

“So, you have to be diligent about managing those resources,” Johnson said. “And we’ve done that. So, we’re in a position where we aren’t needing to do those kinds of changes right now.”

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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