The effort includes two key initiatives — a significant expansion of graduate medical education and an investment in community health and wellness — with plans for a third initiative focused on building a virtual hospital of the future. According to Sanford Health, while nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in rural America is an ongoing challenge.
To help address the shortage, Sanford Health will create eight graduate medical residencies and fellowships in critical specialty areas. To promote community health and improve access to sports opportunities for all youth, including those from underserved communities, Sanford Health will add new soccer, baseball, and softball fields to the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And a planned virtual hospital will deliver medical services through the health system's network of hospitals and clinics, serving communities, patients, and long-term care residents in rural and underserved areas of the Midwest.
"Using the best of technology, the virtual hospital will enable us to more easily provide a wide range of care, including for complex chronic diseases as well as care transitions, in a way that is convenient and accessible for our patients and residents," said Erica DeBoer, chief nursing officer for Sanford Health.
"Today I am renewing my commitment to my most cherished charitable cause, Sanford Health," said Sanford, whose commitments in support of the health system now total more than $1 billion. "I have a deep appreciation for the life-changing mission of Sanford Health and its work locally and around the globe, and my gift will ensure it continues to be a vital asset across our region for generations to come."
(Image credit: Sanford Health)