Billionaire donates $400M to health system

For officials at Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health System, it's a dream come true. Executives there had long wanted to reinvent their system in the image of research institutions like the Mayo Clinic, transforming it into a world-class center for children's health research, but didn't have the resources. Enter T. Denny Sanford, a billionaire banker from South Dakota with a philanthropic streak. To allow them to accomplish their goals, Sanford has agreed to donate $400 million to the health system, which is renaming itself "Sanford Health" in his honor. The system, which was founded in 1894, has 12,000 employees, 340 physicians, 115 clinics and a total of 24 hospitals to its credit.

With the money in hand, the new Sanford Health system plans to expand outward from its base in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. It also plans to build five pediatric clinics, to be affiliated with a new children's hospital scheduled for a 2009 opening, and build 20 specialized facilities linked to the medical center.

For more info on the donation and health system restructuring:
- check out this press release on the donation
- read this Associated Press article

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