Sanford Health at a glance: Dec. 6, 2018

News and notes about the organization, its people and industry.

Sanford Center exterior

Sanford Health awards inaugural $1 million Lorraine Cross Award

On the evening of Dec. 4, Sanford Health handed out its inaugural Lorraine Cross Award, a prize of $1 million, making it one of the top-five most lucrative awards recognizing a major advancement in health care. The event was hosted by Shankar Vedantam, a journalist and host of NPR’s ‘Hidden Brain’ podcast and radio show, and music was provided by Grammy and Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. The prize went to Drs. Jean Bennett and Katherine High, whose transformative change in medicine was working on the RPE65 mutation, which led to a reversal in an inherited form of blindness. President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft emphasized how the prize fit with the mission of Sanford Health, saying, “We were, and still are, fueled by a spirit of pioneering change, innovating, challenging the status quo. We never settle for good enough.” The award will continue to be given out every two years.

Sanford Health EMS Education and Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance receive major accreditation

Sanford Health EMS Education (SHEMSE) and Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance received notification of re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education. CAPCE serves as the national accreditation body for recertification courses for EMS providers. We are the only CAPCE accredited organization in North Dakota and South Dakota. Minnesota only has two, and both are in Minneapolis/St. Paul. By gaining and keeping CAPCE accreditation, Sanford Health EMS Education (SHEMSE) gains several benefits:

  • We can provide high-tier, nationally recognized, high-quality recertification education to all EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and paramedics in the Sanford system and neighboring services in our footprint.
  • By moving away from single-state approval to a national accreditation, SHEMSE will provide single-source classes to all EMS staff without concern for state boundaries. This means that as the Sanford Health footprint grows into other states, we would not have to pursue each state’s EMS Office’s permission to teach our staff in those states.
  • We are currently working to move all of our video-delivered recertification courses to this model with a goal of August 2019.

Innovations in care delivery

In Fargo, the first coronary laser case was performed in the Cardiac Cath Lab this week by Dr. Alok Saurav. He utilized the excimer laser to open a coronary artery. This is a known therapy that has never been performed at a Sanford medical center before.

At the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, radiation oncology recently began treating patients on a new linear accelerator. The new accelerator outputs are “matched” to an existing TrueBeam accelerator, allowing for continued treatments in the event an accelerator requires service. Enhanced imaging features allow greater precision for treatment delivery, thus sparing more normal tissue and critical structures from radiation.


Sanford Health was the presenting sponsor for the Arthritis Jingle Bell Run on Nov. 24, which raised $37,689.

The children’s hospital hosted a blood drive on Nov. 27. Fifty-two lifesaving donations were received, which will help 156 patients and families.

The Sanford Lorraine Cross Award has been endowed in the future by the following members of what we’re calling the Founder’s Circle, who pledged $1 million each:

  • Miles and Lisa Beacom Family
  • Tom and Barb Everist Family
  • Dan and Arlene Kirby Family
  • Kelby and Heidi Krabbenhoft Family
  • Debby Vander Woude Family (given in honor of Dr. John C. Vander Woude)

Denny Sanford generously offered to match the next five donor families with $5 million of his own money in support of the award.

OncoKids pilot launched

The Los Angeles Children’s OncoKids pilot project that includes the Sanford Children’s Consortium Executive Committee members and clinical engagement leads was formally launched. This study will be conducted in pediatric hospitals within the Sanford Consortium, including Sanford Children’s in Fargo and Sioux Falls. Oncokids is a next-generation sequencing test designed to capture the genetic mutations found in pediatric cancers.


  • … to the clinical genetic counselors (GCs) who celebrated the first graduating class for the Augie/Sanford Genetic Counseling Program at the National Society of Genetic Counselors conference in Atlanta. Three new GCs presented posters at the NSGC national conference, and eight Sioux Falls GCs attended the NSGC conference in Atlanta.
  • … to Megan Hills, MS, RN, Nursing Practice Specialist from the  Office of Nursing Practice, who was selected to participate in the “2019 United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program.” This provides an opportunity to refine leadership skills, build networks and use talents to make a difference in the community.
  • … to Sanford Thief River Falls (TRF). TRF is among 38 other facilities that are being honored by the Minnesota Department of Health at the Gold Level designation for work in raising awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance and the urgent need to address it through appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. TRF is one of nine facilities receiving this Gold Level award for the second year in a row and the only Sanford Health facility to receive this distinction.
  • … to the Broadway retail dining and central kitchen renovation project in Fargo, which was featured in Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, November 2018, as the design of the month. All designs of the month through the calendar year are pooled, and an award is given just after the first of the year for the Design of the Year for the magazine. Last year, the restaurant and kitchen designs at the Sanford Medical Center Fargo were featured in the November 2017 edition of this same magazine. It is an incredible honor to receive great recognition like this for our projects.
  • … to Pilar de la Puente, who received the Lush 2018 Young Investigator Award in Berlin, Germany. The Lush Award is an international award recognizing young scientists who have demonstrated excellence in research involving animal-free testing. The title of the awarded project is “Patient-Derived in Vitro Breast Cancer Model for Personalized in Vitro Drug Screening.” The award ceremony can be viewed here.

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