October 28, 2014

Sanford donates $1 million to new hospital in Watford

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

An existing partnership between McKenzie County Healthcare Systems Inc. and Sanford Health has expanded with a management agreement that will provide additional healthcare resources in McKenzie County.
And Sanford’s commitment to help  provide quality healthcare in Watford City was cemented on Wednesday, Oct. 22, when it announced a $1 million donation  ($100,000 over 10 years) from its community dividend fund in support of MCHS’ construction of a new medical center.
This partnership solidifies additional key healthcare projects including MCHS’ developing terms of a management agreement with Sanford, pursuing installation of the Sanford One Chart (Epic) electronic medical record system and becoming a participating provider in the Sanford Health Plan.
In 2013, Sanford and MCHS joined forces with Sanford investing in the new MCHS medical center by agreeing to lease 6,000 square feet in the clinic to support the long-term, healthcare needs of oil-producing companies. Sanford also agreed to expand air ambulance services and recruit physicians  to serve Watford City and has already added cardiology, pediatrics and orthopedics.
“Our vision of what we can do by working with Sanford is focused on what’s best for our patients and how we can continually improve upon what we’ve been building here for decades,” said Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc., CEO. “We are fortunate to be partnering with an organization that we’ve come to know very well.”
“Sanford’s commitment to the people of McKenzie County continues to grow,” said Nate White, chief operating officer for Sanford Health. “We saw a need several years ago and responded. Now we are increasing our investment. We have a common view of the future and how we can work together with MCHS to offer the best patient care possible.”
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas that has evolved over the past 150 years. According to Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, Sanford now has 42 hospitals and 140 clinic locations throughout 126 communities in nine  different states, 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine, and  has the third largest medical clinic in the country. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North Dakota and South Dakota.
Sanford Health is also in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Mexico, and China. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts make it possible for the implementation of several initiatives, including global children’s clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer.
“We have the capacity to do what’s needed here,” said Krabbenhoft. “It is a huge priority, for what is taking place in Watford City and McKenzie County, to actually get this project done. While we are big, we are local. And we  have a catch phrase, ‘promises made are promises met,’ and we plan on seeing that through.”
Patsy Levang, MCHS Board chair said, “Thank you, Sanford. I’m very proud of the health care infrastructure we are building with Sanford to meet the needs of our region. Even more importantly, I’m proud of our staff and physicians; it’s crucial we give them the resources they need. This partnership will certainly solidify that.”
McKenzie County Healthcare Systems is a faith-based healthcare organization, with a commitment to its patients and their families, whatever their needs might be. Their goal is to achieve the highest degree of healthcare for these patients and their families. It provides hometown values committed to quality services, continuity of care, assurance of qualified staff and family involvement for individual patients and clients. The health system consists of the McKenzie County Memorial Hospital, Good Shepherd Home, Horizons Assisted Living Center, McKenzie County Clinic and the Connie Wold Wellness Center.
“I think it’s a wonderful example of a partnership,” said Myra Anderson, MCHS Benefit Fund president. “It is a partnership that’s going to benefit both sides and we are thrilled at Sanford’s commitment to McKenzie County and Watford City.”