Sanford Aberdeen celebrates a decade of growth

Since the opening of Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center in July 2012, Sanford Health has worked to improve the lives of the residents of Aberdeen, South Dakota, with access to the full spectrum of health care services.

At the same time, Sanford Health invests heavily in the Aberdeen community, knowing that health care goes beyond the walls of hospitals and clinics.

These achievements are consistent with the organization’s mission to become America’s leading rural health system. With a focus on providing world-class healthcare in rural areas like Aberdeen, Sanford Health has excelled and changed countless lives forever.

Care close to home

Sanford Aberdeen’s story officially began in November 2008 when United Clinic became Sanford Aberdeen Clinic, a medium-sized facility with 118 employees. But it wasn’t until the 113,000-square-foot, $60 million medical center was built in 2012 that the organization really got its footing in the community.

In the 10 years since, Sanford Health has expanded access to a range of specialty services for patients in and around Aberdeen, including orthopedics, emergency medicine, cardiology, oncology and pregnancy care.

The organization has also upgraded its facilities and technology, particularly imaging and other diagnostic tools, while significantly increasing the number of staff and providers to meet the growing needs of patients. What was once a team of 118 Sanford Aberdeen employees is now 450, including 60 suppliers.

“Sanford Aberdeen provides personalized care and specialty services close to home,” said Executive Director Ashley Erickson. “Our staff are first class and continue to work to treat our patients and families with the utmost respect and quality right here in Aberdeen.”

Steve Redmond, MD, chief of staff at Sanford Aberdeen, has been caring for Aberdeen residents since 1994. He said Sanford Health now attracts patients from across the region and drives the local standard of care.

“There are patients coming to Aberdeen from areas I’ve never seen,” Dr Redmond said. “Sanford’s presence has made everyone improve the quality of their services, making our city a great place to receive care.”

In the community

Truly healthy communities prioritize preventive care, mental health, and the well-rounded development of their residents.

That’s why Sanford Health’s contributions to the Aberdeen community include sports medicine scholarships and partnerships with local high schools and colleges, plus athletic performance training and injury management through Sanford POWER, which serves more than 180 local student-athletes each summer.

It’s also why Sanford Aberdeen plans to expand its behavioral health services in the coming years.

“Our top two community health needs, prioritized by a committee of local community stakeholders, are improving physical activity and nutrition for our residents and increasing access to health care providers, particularly for mental health and education services,” said Erickson.

These ongoing community investments reflect Sanford Health’s understanding that good growth is mutual. If the organization wishes to continue to grow in a healthy way, it must help its communities to do the same.

In total, Sanford Health’s direct contributions to the Aberdeen community total nearly $50 million since 2012. But that’s not the whole story.

There’s the organization’s economic impact: a more indirect metric that includes the wages paid to residents and the economic activity those wages generate, plus the revenue Sanford Health has created for other local businesses through construction, renovations and other services. That totals nearly $600 million since the medical center opened.

“We are proud to make Aberdeen a better place to live,” Erickson said. “Our care extends beyond our hospital and clinics as we are active in the communities we serve, investing significant resources to ensure better health for all.”

The future of rural healthcare

As Sanford Health works to become America’s leading rural health system, one thing remains the focus: the patient.

“It’s all about the patient,” Dr. Redmond said. “I practice in a rural area because I like being close to the people I care for and being a part of their lives. We speak the same language.

To better serve patients in rural areas, Sanford Health has plans to expand and improve its virtual care services. A new virtual care center, supported by a $300 million philanthropic gift, will be built in the coming years to provide even greater access to care for rural areas like Aberdeen, reflecting the organisation’s claim to be here for everyone – regardless from the patient’s location on the map.

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Posted in Company News, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine

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