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Published November 12, 2013, 10:07 PM

Paul Richard to head Sanford Medical Center in Fargo

FARGO – Paul Richard, who has long served as Sanford’s top lawyer, has been named to head the Sanford Medical Center here effective Dec. 1.

By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM

FARGO – Paul Richard, who has long served as Sanford’s top lawyer, has been named to head the Sanford Medical Center here effective Dec. 1.

Richard, 61, currently serves as Sanford’s executive vice president and general counsel. He has aspent 42 years with the organization, dating back to the days of St. Luke’s Hospital and Fargo Clinic.

He will replace Dennis Millirons, who was brought in to manage the Fargo medical center following the merger of MeritCare and Sanford in 2009, and has been named an executive vice president at Sanford.

Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford’s chief executive officer, announced the changes in an interview with The Forum on Tuesday. They remain subject to board approval.

“He has accomplished the work we asked of him related to the significant merger of MeritCare and Sanford four years ago, and now I want him to work on other key initiatives,” Krabbenhoft said of Millirons.

“It’s just the right time for him and the right time for us,” to make the change, he said.

Millirons’ new duties have yet to be determined, but will concern systemwide initiatives and might involve dealing with other health systems.

“He’s got a wealth of experience,” Krabbenhoft said, referring to Millirons’ previous executive positions in his native Oklahoma and Chicago.

Krabbenhoft said Richard’s diverse background and career-long association with Sanford made him a logical choice to be the new medical center president.

“His ability to speak the language and know the job of all the people is key here,” Krabbenhoft said. “Paul is going to be a real ambassador for the culture we’re trying to establish.”

Richard was brought in as MeritCare’s general counsel in 1998, after working for almost 20 years as an outside lawyer for the hospital and clinic in the Serkland Law Firm.

His career began in 1971 when, while a freshman at North Dakota State University, he went to work as a file clerk for St. Luke’s.

After earning degrees in business and nursing, Richard served as a quality review nurse, then went to the University of North Dakota School of Law with the goal of a career in health care law.

As a lawyer and ultimately general counsel, Richard said he has worked extensively with leadership across the Sanford organization.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522

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