Sanford donates $125M to launch genetic medicine program - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sanford donates $125M to launch genetic medicine program

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Christmas was two weeks ago but Sanford Health received quite the gift Tuesday morning. $125 Million, that's how much philanthropist Denny Sanford has pledged to help launch a brand new system of patient treatment.

A lot of people will probably just look at the $125 Million and be blown away by the amount, but what that money will do is far more amazing. With the gift, Sanford is launching Imagenetics to fighting disease on the molecular level. This is personalized medicine where your DNA helps determine the best course of treatment. This will help cut down on the number of medications, limit side-effects, and could even help doctors treat the condition before symptoms show up. Genetic medicine is already being utilized by Sanford doctors to treat cancers and other conditions, but this will take those practices to the clinic as well.

"This really gets to what we call precision medicine that is using the tools of genetics to precisely take care of you as an individual." Said Dr. H. Eugene Hoyme, a geneticist and president of Sanford Research.

"Once again he's taken what was possible and today has made it practical for everybody. Thank you Mr. Sanford." Said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.

The money will be spread throughout the Sanford Health system to build facilities for genetic research and testing. Those projects are expected to break ground starting in the spring of 2015.

In addition to the donation, Sanford announced partnerships with Augustana College, and the Universities of North Dakota and South Dakota to train the next wave of genomic health professionals. Krabbenhoft says this donation puts Mr. Sanford over the $1 Billion mark in charitable gifts. His largest donation came back in 2007, giving $400 million dollars to Sanford Health.

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