Sanford Health Receives $100 Million to Target Breast Cancer

Retired banker and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed an additional $100 million to Sanford Health — bringing the total amount of his gifts to the health system that bears his name to more than $500 million, the Associated Press reports.

The South Dakota philanthropist's most recent gift to Sanford Health will be used to target breast cancer as part of a larger initiative to establish a national institute to fight the disease. "This new initiative will create a world-class center for the research, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer in keeping with the standard of excellence in Sanford's cancer and other programs," Sanford Health Foundation president Brian Mortenson told the Argus Leader.

Further details of the initiative will be announced later this year, the AP reports, likely at Sanford Health's annual children's gala in August.

Nearly a year ago, Sanford, who amassed his fortune as the head of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, fulfilled a multiyear, $400 million commitment to the system in support of four major initiatives, including a project to cure Type 1 diabetes.

According to Mortenson, an estimated ten million women are living with breast cancer. And the chances of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer is about one in eight, American Cancer Society official Jill Ireland told the Argus Leader. "Certainly having this gift is going to be tremendous not only for the women in South Dakota" added Ireland, "but for everyone who's afflicted with the disease."

"Sanford $100 Million Gift to Target Breast Cancer." Associated Press 01/25/2011. Jon Walker. "T. Denny Sanford Donates $100 Million More to Health System." Argus Leader 01/18/2011.