WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- UnityPoint Health and Sanford Health have called off plans to merge together and create what would have been a non-profit health system among the top 15 largest in the country.
UnityPoint Health announced the news in a statement on Tuesday:
"Over the past several months, UnityPoint Health has seriously explored the opportunity to join together with Sanford Health. After significant consideration, we will not be moving forward with a formal partnership. We have great respect for Sanford Health and the relationships we’ve developed. UnityPoint Health remains strong, focused on delivering exceptional patient care and is competitively positioned for the future."
Sanford Health released a statement expressing disappointment in UnityPoint Health for the failed merger. The statement reads in part:
"The executive management teams and physicians worked diligently for 18 months to provide a merger recommendation to the boards. We are disappointed that the UnityPoint Health board failed to embrace the vision."
UnityPoint Health and Sanford Health announced plans of the merger back in June and hoped to have it completed before the end of 2019. The combined health network would have employed 83,000 staff and 2,600 physicians, with operations in 26 states and nine countries.
UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The health system is comprised of more than 280 physician clinics, 32 hospitals and employs more than 32,000 people.