T. Denny Sanford Gives $125 Million to Establish Genomic Initiative for Internal Medicine

T. Denny Sanford Gives $125 Million to Establish Genomic Initiative for Internal Medicine

Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has announced a gift of $125 million from T. Denny Sanford to establish Sanford Imagenetics, a first-of-its-kind program that aims to integrate genomic medicine into primary care for adults.

Starting later this year, the program will offer Sanford Health patients the opportunity to undergo genetic testing and counseling that provides their internists with unprecedented patient-specific information. Arming physicians with patients' genetic information will improve their ability to prescribe the most effective treatment or medication for a range of conditions and diseases.

As part of the initiative, Sanford Health will create dedicated facilities in its major markets to facilitate implementation of the program. Depending on the region, the facilities will house an internal medicine practice, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, and/or research, education, and lab services. Sanford Health already has begun recruiting physicians in the fields of internal medicine and genetics to support the program and has developed partnerships with Augustana College and the University of South Dakota to develop academic programs in genetic medicine for the next generation of doctors, nurses, and scientists.

With his latest gift, Sanford, a Giving Pledge signatory, has committed nearly $1 billion to the health system that bears his name. In addition, he has provided eight- or nine-figure gifts to the University of California, San Diego, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

"Thanks to Mr. Sanford's continued generosity, Sanford Health will take a national lead role in using existing genetic markers and incorporating future discoveries for internists to individualize care for physicians with cancer, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and other conditions," said Dan Blue, president of Sanford Clinic.