Sanford Health announces new $350M gift for rural health

Paul Heinert
Sanford Health Media Relations
605-366-2432 /

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Sept. 8, 2021 — The transformation of rural health care continues as Sanford Health announced today an additional $350 million philanthropic gift that will support a cutting-edge clinical initiative to create one of the world’s leading virtual care centers to provide accessible care in rural and underserved areas of the Midwest.

The state-of-the-art virtual care center will serve people from across Sanford Health’s network of hospitals and clinics, expanding opportunities to receive care in our communities as well as our long-term care locations. It will also house innovation, education and research initiatives to advance digital health care solutions for the future.

“It is crucial we continue to break new ground in how we bring the best of today’s digital world directly to our patients, with seamless, convenient and world-class care for the communities we serve,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “The virtual care initiative will accomplish this and deliver medical services to communities, patients and long-term care residents around the globe when and where they’re most needed.”

This additional investment follows a $300 million initiative announced in March that included a significant expansion of graduate medical education and an investment in community health and wellness with 18 new sports fields at the Sanford Sports Complex.

“It is powerful to think about how many lives this gift will change,” said Bobbie Tibbetts, chief philanthropy officer of Sanford Health. “Philanthropy can not only save lives, but also inspire the next generation of people to give.”

Since March, Denny Sanford has committed $650 million to supporting Sanford Health’s groundbreaking initiatives, bringing his total giving to the nation’s largest rural health care system to nearly $1.5 billion.

“I am committed to seeing this initiative become a reality,” said Denny Sanford. “I continue to give to Sanford Health because I believe that supporting the people and communities in the regions they serve is the best investment I can make.”

This gift announced today follows a legacy of transformational giving by Denny Sanford to the health system. His gift of $400 million in 2007 propelled the health system from a small regional provider to one of the largest health systems in the nation. It also sparked a spirit of generosity, inspiring thousands of other donors to annually support the mission of Sanford Health.

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 46 hospitals, 1,500 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at or Sanford Health News.