GI medical education will be part of new building at Sanford

Sanford Digestive Health Center will offer the first GI fellowship in the Dakotas

Architectural rendering of Sanford Digestive Health Center with a tower on one end and parking lot in front.

Sanford Health is changing the landscape of digestive health in the Midwest.

With the announcement of construction on a new Medical Building One (MB1) on the Sanford USD Medical Center campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the health care provider will offer top-of-the-line digestive services for generations to come, leaders say.

Focused on digestive health

The new digestive clinic, along with its gastrointestinal fellowship program, will occupy MB1. In total, the building will be 237,000 square feet and five stories tall.

Some nuts and bolts about the building: The four lower stories will be a parking ramp, which will be impactful for the main campus. The top level features a 45,000-square-foot clinic dedicated exclusively to digestive health.

One aspect leaders are excited about is the added room this will give patients and providers.

“We’re going to have 10 procedure rooms. We’re going to have 40 pre-procedure rooms where patients will be able to be seen pre-procedure, and obviously recover post procedure,” said Sanford Clinic vice president Joshua Crabtree, M.D., MBA.

USD Medical Center chief of staff and gastroenterologist Jeffrey Murray, M.D., called the building a “dream come true.”

“Patients ostensibly could be seen in the office and even have a procedure within a short period of time, not necessarily on the same day, but possibly if they needed something done emergently, we could,” he said.

GI fellowship

Another reason for excitement comes from the soon-to-be GI fellowship program the building will house.

This GI specific fellowship program is the only one of its kind in the Dakotas. The three-year program will be done after a medical resident finishes their internal medicine residency.

The space created for this program will include a dedicated workspace for students as well as an endoscopic simulation space for trainees to learn endoscopic techniques.

Dr. Murray said this was made possible by Denny Sanford’s recent gift to Sanford Health, one of the many ways his generosity will positively impact the patients and communities Sanford Health serves.

“We’re going to be able to produce gastroenterologists on site. The most amazing thing about this is that we know if we train these individuals here at Sanford, we have a relatively good chance of retaining them to practice here in the Sioux Falls region as well,” said Dr. Murray.

He said a fellowship of this kind, paired with the added resources for digestive care, are needed for Sanford’s communities.

“We take care of various types of inflammatory bowel disease, diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease which are increasing in incidence. We take care of all digestive diseases, especially diseases of the pancreas including pancreatic cancer, which interestingly is increasing in prevalence in this very region. The gastroenterology fellowship will allow research avenues to explore these alarming trends.

“It basically precipitates the need to have an increased number of specialists involved in the field of gastroenterology to take care of those patients and take care of their health care needs,” he explained.

Care where it’s needed

Vice president of operations Andy Munce said this announcement is the latest way Sanford is meeting the health care needs of the communities it serves.

“Our strategy has been to maintain as many of the services as possible within our main campus. Everyone’s aware we have our heart hospital; we have our children’s castle. Those are all on our main campus and that’s with intent and reason.

“We truly believe that allows us to provide the best patient care when we have all these services and all the services that may be necessary to care for patients on one campus. It really falls right in line with that,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in late 2023. The building will be open for patients by spring of 2024.

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Posted In Company News, Digestive Health, News, Postgraduate Programs, Sioux Falls