Sanford announces nearly $210 million in construction

March 3, 2020

Sanford Health plans to invest nearly $210 million in building projects in the Sioux Falls area over the next few years.

They include major upgrades on the main campus of the Sanford USD Medical Center, including an orthopedic hospital more than a decade in the making.

They also will build on Sanford’s neighborhood-focused strategy of bringing care close to where people live, with developments on the east side of Sioux Falls and in Harrisburg that include new Lewis Drug stores.

“It’s almost promises made, promises kept. We say that a lot, but it’s true,” said Paul Hanson, president of Sanford Sioux Falls.

“We’ve talked about this for years. We’ve built up service lines and invested in people and invested in buildings in the past, but we’ve never taken our eye off the ball when it comes to being the provider of choice.”

Nearly three-quarters of the estimated $209.5 million in projects will go toward the orthopedic investment. It will start with a two-story, 33,000-square-foot expansion of the Van Demark building on Sanford’s main Sioux Falls campus starting this fall and opening in spring 2022. That will add 23 exam rooms and space for eight additional surgeons and 12 advanced practice providers.

Construction of an adjacent 163,000-square-foot Sanford Orthopedic Hospital will start next summer and is scheduled to open in 2023. It is designed for same-day surgeries and includes 12 operating rooms with space to expand, plus a walk-in clinic.

“Eight to 10 years ago, you were seeing total hip (replacements) in the hospital three to four days. Five years ago, you were seeing total hips for two days. Today, it’s a day or less,” Hanson said. “That’s how medicine has changed.”

Sanford has drawn on input from its physicians in putting the concept together and will be sending a committee to evaluate other new facilities in the marketplace, Hanson said.

“For me, it’s designing as the building for 2030 or 2040. It’s not designing for 2000 or 2010, so where is ortho going? We’ve had a very active building committee and strong support and engagement from the medical community in its design, and we’re going to flow through with that,” he said.

Sanford has talked about a standalone orthopedic building for 14 years, he estimated. Some physicians have been involved that long, and others in more recent years have helped with “recruiting the right people first before we build a building and developing a team we can respect and work with,” he said.

The plan is to recruit an additional eight to 10 physicians in the immediate future, he said.

“For me, to see the physicians who sacrificed and built their practices up and recruited additional people … here we are 13 or 14 years later, and we’re executing on that original game plan. I’m just really happy for our docs. They’ve earned it.”

On the main campus, Sanford also will be adding to its Heart Hospital, which opened with 56 beds in 2012. The expansion will add more than 26,000 square feet, including 16 patient rooms and supporting spaces. Construction will start this month and be done this year.

“It’s just volumes. Our volumes have grown such that we look at the need internally, and we had to make additional investment,” Hanson said. “Fortunately, we have shelled that space out in the project before, so it’s a matter now of determining the best use of the space.”

East-side stake, Harrisburg entry

Sanford’s building plan also includes the first of what likely will be a multiphase development on 100 acres it owns on the northeast corner of 57th Street and Veterans Parkway.

Construction on a 42,000-square-foot clinic will start this fall and is scheduled to be done next year. It will house family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, allergy, acute care and include 3D mammography.

It will be similar to what opened in recent years at 32nd Street and Ellis Road.

“As we looked at going into a market, we wanted to standardize what a clinic would look like with 25 providers and room for expansion,” Hanson said.

As on the far west side, there will be a Lewis Drug alongside the Sanford clinic. CEO Mark Griffin said the size is still being finalized, but it either will be similar to Brandon’s 15,000-square-foot store or the Ellis Road store, which is more like 25,000 square feet.

“Definitely one the fastest growing areas will be on the east side,” he said. “We want to open at the same time Sanford does, which we feel is best for both of us.”

The initial development will take about 30 acres, leaving significant room to add more services.

“Right now I lean more toward rehab services,” Hanson said. “Do we add women’s, or an ED (emergency department) or look at ophthalmology services? It’s not like that’s a secret to anybody. The east side will drive some of our ideas and concepts in terms of what that part of the community wants and needs. We’ll continue to do focus groups and look at community-needs assessments.”

In Harrisburg, Sanford will build a 16,000-square-foot clinic starting this spring on the northwest corner of Cliff Avenue and Willow Street. It will include family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and walk-in availability with a planned opening next year.

“We’re excited about being in Harrisburg — our school partnerships, the growth of Harrisburg and the reach outs we’ve had by businesspeople from Harrisburg to say they appreciate the investment in the community,” Hanson said.

“We’ve got a land plot down there where we can grow out and up in the event we have to, so I think we have the right design for Harrisburg.”

The clinic also will include a Lewis Drug, which Griffin described as similar in size to a Lewis Family Drug.

“But we’ll offer front-end products too, and health and beauty, and the basic necessities,” he said. “We looked at going out there before the Sanford deal came together, and it’s very appealing. It’s a great community with good leadership, and it’s just going to grow and grow. It’s very impressive.”

Sanford’s improvements also acknowledged the increased competition in the market, Hanson said. Avera on Louise opened its Specialty Hospital last year, which includes a focus on orthopedics.

“We have a large competitor who has made significant investment in the orthopedic service line and rooftop strategies, and Sioux Falls having that competition has elevated everybody’s game and expectations of what you expect in a health care provider,” Hanson said. “It’s not just the building. It’s the clinical outcome.”

The overall investment builds on momentum in the Sioux Falls area, Griffin said.

“There’s just so many things going on that are exciting for us as well and create a vibrant market,” he said. “We’re enjoying being a small part of it.”

Editor’s note: The opening date of the Sanford Orthopedic Hospital has been corrected to 2023 since the story was first published.

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Sanford announces nearly $210 million in construction

Sanford Health plans to invest nearly $210 million in building projects in the Sioux Falls area over the next few years.

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