SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Another big donation by Billionaire T. Denny Sanford went to Sanford Health. Today the health group announced they are receiving $300 million from the man who started Premier Bank.
“It’s amazing you have to pinch yourself when you think about that type of money and what it’s going to go towards and what it’s going to allow us to do,” said Sanford CEO Bill Gassen.
Back in 2007, it was Sanford’s initial gift of $400 million that transformed Sioux Valley Hospital into the Sanford Health System we know today. Now, Gassen says this $300 million gift cements the future of Sanford Health.
“I think the best way to say it is Mr. Sanford’s generosity is going to allow us to remain permanent here where we’re at in the Dakotas today, ” Gassen said.
Was that in doubt?
“There wasn’t any doubt for us, but I believe over the last couple of years there became to be a doubt within our community. This gave us an incredible opportunity for us to reassure the communities that have come alongside us that have built this organization into what it is today, to be assured that we are here today and we’re going to be here tomorrow,” Gassen said.
The $300 million donation from T. Denny Sanford brings his total giving from him to one billion dollars.
Sanford Health is using this latest donation to create new graduate residencies. They believe this could double the number of medical experts training and providing care at Sanford from one hundred to two hundred. Gassen says many of those will choose to remain with the hospital.
“We have about a hundred residents and fellows who are training at any given time this is going to allow us to double it, so now into the future there will be 200 residents and fellows who will be training right now in Sanford Health’s footprint and that’s going to allow them to bring them in. Usually, a third or more of those residents to train with us stay with us,” said Gassen.
Sanford Health will also expand the sports complex with new soccer, baseball and softball fields.
“It’s going to bring tournaments into this community, it’s going to bring revenues into this community,” said Gassen.
Gassen says an even larger gift from T. Denny Sanford is in the works. A $350 million donation will be used to develop a state of the art virtual hospital that could bring specialists to small towns across the region.
A statement from T. Denny Sanford says that he has “a deep appreciation for the life changing mission of Sanford health.”