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Gundersen Health System and Marshfield Clinic Health System are discussing how the two organizations might come together to collectively enhance the level of care across Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and southeastern Minnesota.

The two organizations will spend the coming months working out details of a possible merger that could create a health system led by more than 2,000 clinicians and with more than 19,000 total employees, all committed to lowering the cost of care, creating an exceptional patient experience and delivering high-quality care and the best outcomes for patients.

While Marshfield Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System already have a similar mission, vision and values, both organizations realize the unique opportunity. The combined strength through a merger could bring together the best pieces of both organizations in today's highly competitive and ever-changing healthcare environment.

"We realize the success of our journey to provide high-quality, outstanding experience, and affordable care to enrich lives and enhance the health of the communities we serve relies on working with many partners in a variety of ways," says Scott Rathgaber, MD, chief executive officer, Gundersen Health System. "This opportunity to unite promises the potential to magnify our impact and bring our care model to even more communities by leveraging the strengths of two mission-driven systems with more than a century of commitment to rural healthcare."

Providing great care for patients, their families and communities are top priorities for each organization, along with improving access to quality healthcare. Gundersen Health System and Marshfield Clinic Health System have spent years improving healthcare access in rural areas through telehealth services, the enhancement of Critical Access Hospitals and clinics in small communities, recruiting and retaining clinicians to practice in rural areas, and many other initiatives.

Susan Turney, MD, chief executive officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System

Susan Turney, MD, chief executive officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System

"Over the last few years, we have worked relentlessly to position ourselves for the future and create a better framework for serving our patients and communities," says Susan Turney, MD, chief executive officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System. "While at the same time, the disruption in the industry and competitive nature of healthcare has made it vital we construct a dynamic and strong integrated health system. This merger would give us an opportunity to combine the unique strengths of our systems to become the preeminent rural healthcare organization in the country."

If they were to merge, Gundersen Health System and Marshfield Clinic Health System would have more than 19,000 employees, 13 hospitals and more than 100 clinics, which includes medical clinics, eye centers, dental centers, urgent care locations and pharmacies.

About Gundersen Health System

Gundersen Health System is a non-profit, comprehensive integrated healthcare network headquartered in La Crosse, Wis. Gundersen's more than 8,000 employees, including more than 900 clinicians, serve 21 counties in western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeast Iowa. Their network includes a large multi-specialty group medical practice, teaching hospital, five Critical Access Hospitals, more than 60 clinic sites, behavioral health services, vision centers, pharmacies, and air and ground ambulances. Gundersen's vision is to enhance the health and well-being of the communities it serves and enrich every life, including patients, families and staff. You can read more at

History: Gundersen Clinic was established in 1891 in La Crosse, Wis., by Adolf Gundersen, MD; and Christian Christensen, MD. Lutheran Hospital was built in La Crosse, Wis., in 1902. In 1995, Gundersen Clinic and Lutheran Hospital-La Crosse formed Gundersen Lutheran, Inc. In 2013 the organization was renamed Gundersen Health System.

About Marshfield Clinic Health System

Marshfield Clinic Health System is an integrated health system whose mission is to enrich lives through accessible, affordable compassionate health care. The Health System serves Wisconsin with more than 11,000 employees including over 1,200 providers comprising 86 specialties, health plan, and research and education programs. Primary operations include Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield Medical Center hospitals in Marshfield, Eau Claire, Rice Lake, Neillsville, Beaver Dam and Ladysmith, Marshfield Children's Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Security Health Plan and Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation. Learn more at


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1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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