Sanford international board helping guide global development

This piece is presented by Sanford Health.

Sanford Health’s international board was created to help the Sioux Falls-based health system think bigger.

It’s comprised of big names — like chair Andy North, retired professional golfer and two-time U.S. Open winner, and Gary Hall Jr., three-time Olympian.

And it’s tackling big goals — like providing health care in places like the African nation of Ghana, where Sanford has rapidly improved care across the country’s southern region in the past five years.

“We are doing what nobody else is,” explains Jim Slack, the vice president of Sanford World Clinic. “We have refined several clinical and operational policies and procedures here in the U.S., and now we have taken these skills and created a sustainable care model that will be in place indefinitely.”

The Sanford World Clinic initiative began after Denny Sanford gave $400 million to Sanford Health to spur global change in the world of health care. The original idea of opening five pediatric clinics in the United States evolved to having 25 clinics in four countries that last year saw a total of more than 260,000 patients.

Sanford is able to see this type of growth in such a short span of time because of its sustainability principles. The organization seeks out partners across the globe, like the Ghanaian government or Chinese business partners that want to benefit from Sanford’s different care models. Having these partnerships ensure that the operation is sustainable within three to five years of opening, which benefits not only the business side of care but also creates a more reliable care location for patients.

Overseeing this impressive operation is the Sanford international board. In addition to North and Hall, its members include:

  • Miles Beacom, president and CEO of Premier Bankcard.
  • Pam Davis, system CEO of Edward-Elmhurst Health.
  • Manny Ohonme, founder of Samaritan’s Feet.
  • Kirk Penney, shooting guard for the Australian National Basketball League’s New Zealand Breakers.
  • Cindy Rarick, professional golfer and entrepreneur.
  • Dr. Robin Smith, chairman and president of the Stem for Life Foundation.
  • Kelby Krabbenhoft (ex officio), president and CEO of Sanford Health.

The board members are global influencers and are passionate about the state of health care around the world, ensuring Sanford’s global focus is where it needs to be. The board recently wrapped up a meeting in Munich, Germany, which is the location of one of Sanford’s World Clinics.

“The board was impressed with the work being done and the progress being made at our locations over the past five years,” said Luke Lindberg, director of Sanford World Clinics. “We have a lot of great opportunities before us and an amazing chance to bring Sanford’s proven care model to new places around the world.”

It’s this care model that has impacted the health of people in Ghana. When the first of Sanford’s clinics opened, staff were focused on basic hygiene practices like hand washing. Now five years later, care teams have access to electronic medical records, telehealth services and a more efficient way to keep vital supplies in stock.

“They had a hard time keeping medicine on the shelves,” Slack explained. “They would run out, and it would take too long to get more. Simply implementing a new procurement process allows them to better note what pharmaceuticals they use the most, when they are running low and when to reorder. This is just one example where the Sanford project team was able to identify an issue and resolve it to improve care.”

This know-how and experience has helped change the landscape of care in places like Ghana. And as Sanford Health looks to the future with opportunities arising for primary care clinics, research facilities and children’s clinics in several countries, the organization remains committed to providing sustainable care at home and abroad.

The international board will meet again later this year in Sioux Falls.

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Sanford international board helping guide global development

Sanford Health’s International Board was created to help the Sioux Falls-based health system think bigger.

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