Sanford Health and Intermountain Healthcare announced that Sanford Health has indefinitely suspended conversations about a planned merger.

This decision follows the recent departure of Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, which is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Krabbenhoft served as CEO of Sanford for the past 25 years. The Sanford Health Board of Trustees last week appointed Bill Gassen as the organization’s new president and CEO.

Given the leadership change, Sanford Health has decided to pause current merger and acquisition activity while they address other organizational needs.

“With this leadership change, it’s an important time to refocus our efforts internally as we assess the future direction of our organization,” said Gassen. “We continue to prioritize taking care of our patients, our people, and the communities we serve as we look to shape our path forward.”

“We have great respect for Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Marc Harrison, and their leadership team, and look forward to continuing to learn from each other,” Gassen added.

“We are disappointed but understand the recent leadership change at Sanford Health has influenced their priorities,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. “There’s much to admire about the work that Sanford Health is doing. We continue to share a strong vision for the future of healthcare.”