South Dakota philanthropist gives $125 million to Sanford Health

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Sanford Health has received another large donation from businessman and philanthropist Denny Sanford.

Tuesday the organization announced it will receive $125 million to establish Sanford Imagenetics. Sanford says it would be a first-of-its-kind program in the country to integrate genomic medicine into primary care for adults.

MPR News reports Sanford is planning to break ground on a new facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota next year and facilities are also planned in Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota and Bemidji.

The money will also fund genetic research at the universities of South Dakota and North Dakota, according to MPR.

The organization says later this year it will offer patients the opportunity to undergo precise genetic testing and genetic counseling, which will provide internal medicine physicians with unprecedented patient-specific information.

Sanford president and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said, "Mr. Sanford's generosity to this organization is humbling. Including this $125 million gift, Denny has given Sanford Health nearly a billion dollars. It's an incredible honor as well as a tremendous responsibility."

Sanford gave $400 million in 2007 to the Sioux Valley health system, which then adopted his name. He also donated $100 million in 2011 for a breast cancer center initiative, according to the Argus Leader.

Sanford pulled out of merger talks with Fairview Health Services after opposition to the potential merger surfaced last year.

Sanford Health bills itself as the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation, with locations in 126 communities in nine states, including Minnesota.

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