Fund to help fellow Sanford employees grows to $1 million


Emily Fink, Sanford Health Foundation
(605) 312-6700

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., April 27, 2020 — Sanford Health has a long history of providing help to those in need.

Help to not only the patients it serves, but also the workers it employs.

Decades ago, the health system implemented its Employee Crisis Fund. It’s an opportunity for employees to make donations for co-workers facing difficulties.

“We can provide a lifeline to them when they find themselves in an unpredictable situation,” said Bobbie Tibbetts, president of Sanford Health Foundation.

And the coronavirus pandemic has been anything but predictable.

“These are unprecedented times,” Tibbetts said.

But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Enterprise Employee Crisis Fund is stronger than ever, raising more than $1 million in three weeks alone.

Tough work changes

The fund is a lifeline to some workers who have undergone drastic work changes. Some have taken on added responsibilities, while others have had their hours cut dramatically, depending on their roles in the health system and the current workload for those roles.

“This crisis is impacting a lot of people,” said Emily Spellerberg, director of marketing operations at Sanford Health. “People who have never planned to be impacted in this way, or never thought they would be in this position.”

Solving problems together

Real problems require a real response, and the Enterprise Employee Crisis Fund, by raising over $1 million in just three weeks, “proves the enterprise as a whole has responded in a big way,” said chief marketing officer Kimber Severson.

“Because of the generous donations from employees, the fund currently sits at more than $1 million. That speaks volumes to the family that we have here at Sanford Health. In times like this, we step up to help one another. I’m so proud to be a part of that,” Severson said.

“With the size of footprint we have here at Sanford, that’s one of the components that I think is pretty neat, is that I might not know them,” she added. “They might be in Bismarck, North Dakota, they might be in Florida with our Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society facilities. We have them across the nation, but they’re still part of our Sanford family.”

Tibbetts, Spellerberg and Severson ask that everyone find a way to lend a helping hand during the trials of the pandemic.

“Everyone has something to give – time, talent or financial resources. Evaluate what you have and find ways to make it impactful. It could be donating money to an employee crisis fund or as simple as checking in on your neighbors and sending them a note saying you’re thinking about them. Your actions can impact people in ways both big and small, so take action. We need each other right now,” Spellerberg said.

About the Sanford Health Foundation

The Sanford Health Foundation supports the mission of Sanford Health, a nonprofit health care leader committed to improving the human condition. Gifts of all types and sizes support everything involved in the daily work of healing patients, including staff education, equipment, technology and programs and non-billed services like social work, nurse navigation, spiritual care and more. We also manage hundreds of endowed funds, created by individual and family donors of $10,000 or more and corporate donors of $25,000 or more. These special funds are designed to provide ongoing, perpetual support for the area of each donor’s choice. The Sanford Health Foundation is also home to Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo and Sioux Falls, as well as Brave Kids Bold Cures and Cure Kids Cancer.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition.

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