Denny Sanford's $400 million gift to Sioux Valley Hospital prompted a name change and big expansion plans. Sanford Health now has 11 children's clinics including one in Africa, with plans for clinics in Mexico, Israel and soon China.
The others are in the U.S., including one in Oceanside, California.
3-year-old Lily and 17-month-old Pearl feel right at home in the castle-themed Sanford Children's Clinic in Oceanside.
"Oh wow. This is such a fun and friendly place for our kids and they're excited to come," mom Eme Howard said.
Howard is just glad she doesn't have to drive to the nearest big city--San Diego--to see a pediatrician.
"We just had this cranky, crying baby who spit up a lot and always needed mom's attention," Howard said.
Howard's girls have reflux and were easily treated. The Sanford Children's Clinic here is part of a partnership with Rady's Children's hospital, which is better known in Southern California.
"This is sort of an interesting model because the other world clinics don't involve this partnership with large medical groups in the community already established," Dr. Donald Miller said.
"One of the first things I did when we started coming here was ask, 'Who is this Sanford guy?' And I started learning about him and realized the generosity he has and the difference he is going to make in health care; especially for pediatrics," Howard said.
After three years, growth at the Oceanside clinic continues. There are now four medical providers here and new patients account for 15 percent of all visits. That's three times more than most clinics.
"So rather than saying, 'Here's what we do,' it's more like, 'What do you need and how can we use the Sanford world clinic structure and Sanford world clinic principles, philosophy and our goals to make it happen for you in a way that's really going to work in your area?' I mean, I think this has been remarkably successful," Miller said.
So successful that Sanford Health continues to build on the castle theme. The first Sanford Children's World Clinic in China is set to open this spring.