Sanford’s expansion decisions

We couldn’t help but notice these two conflicting items reported by the Associated Press:

– Sanford Health is shutting down a nursing home in Underwood by March 15 because of a declining need and problems hiring staff.

– Sanford Health will open its fourth clinic in Ghana, and is working on expanding to China, and has plans to expand to Ireland, Mexico, Israel and perhaps India in the next two years.

While we wouldn’t begrudge the South Dakota-based company the opportunities to expand worldwide, we wonder if those ambitious plans are coming at the expense of smaller facilities right here at home. Sanford Health is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo, calls itself the largest not-for-profit rural health care provider in the nation, with some 126 locations in eight states. Sanford merged with Bismarck’s Medcenter last year.

But Underwood will soon no longer be one of those locations. Perhaps the facility in Underwood doesn’t qualify as rural enough. The company did say it would help the Underwood facility’s 38 residents find spots at other facilities, and that its 62 employees in Underwood would be offered other jobs within the apparently expanding Sanford.

Perhaps in China.