The internationally-known researcher hand-picked to lead the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research program has jumped ship for the organization's Sioux Falls competitor.
KELOLAND News has learned that Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones left the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research project after just 18 months on the job. Leyland-Jones is now working for Avera Health.
Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft compared the parting to a football team that decides to change quarterbacks. Krabbenhoft says Sanford felt it was time to make a change.
"Frankly, we've moved on. Like so many issues about relationships and talent there are some that work and some that don't. And it didn't work with us and Brian and so he's moved on," Krabbenhoft said.
No replacement has been named for Leyland-Jones, who was selected after a nine-month recruitment process.
Avera Health issued the following statement on the hiring of Leyland-Jones and his research team of 12.
“Avera McKennan welcomes our new applied genetics team that will specialize in scientific and medical aspects of breast and other cancers. Members of this team will join the Avera Institute for Human Genetics and the Avera Cancer Institute. Their background and experience are tremendous additions to our outstanding cancer program, which has been a leader in this region for 30 years. What a wonderful enhancement to the world-class cancer care provided for you at Avera McKennan,” Dr. David Kapaska, Regional President and CEO Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, said.