SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA (LEARFIELD) – A major Minnesota provider, Sanford Health, is merging with Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, the largest provider in that region of the country.

“We’ve got about nine months of regulatory filings, planning and a lot of other work that needs to be done for this to become a real combined organization next summer,” said Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft.

Krabbenhoft says Sanford will retain its brand for now.

“Just like Good Samaritan was, in the merger we just recently did, an accepted big brand on a national platform, Sanford Health on the eastern frontier of this new system will continue to retain its brand, but we will operate as a new corporation as Intermountain Health,” he said.

Intermountain is a not-for-profit system founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with hospitals and clinics in Utah, Nevada and Idaho.

Sioux Falls-based Sanford has clinics and hospitals in 24 states.