(Sioux Falls, SD & Fargo ND) – Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, local entrepreneur and philanthropist Denny Sanford and a host of leaders at Sanford Health announced the launch of Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research today. Named in honor of Mr. Sanford’s mother who died of breast cancer when he was four years old, Edith Sanford marks an enterprise-wide turning point in breast cancer care and research.
With a focus on research and care, and by utilizing a grassroots network, Edith Sanford aims to decode the genetic make-up of every woman. Using the data, physicians and researchers will work to evaluate each woman’s risk, identify best treatments and ultimately hope to end breast cancer.
“I am proud to announce Sanford Health is taking a very personal and courageous step in changing the global landscape of breast cancer research and care, marking a turning point for all of us – our mothers, daughters, sisters – our families,” said Denny Sanford.
Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research will house a repository for genetic information from women of all ages, medical histories and backgrounds. This biobank will collect, process and store genetic samples, a library for researchers to accelerate the pace of research. “Our vision is to eradicate breast cancer through personalized medicine,” said Eugene Hoyme, MD, geneticist and Sanford Research president. “With a comprehensive genetic picture, we will know more specifically what treatments will work with each woman, how to prevent disease on an individual basis and ultimately find a cure.”
“We will connect and mobilize women to participate in our research,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health president and CEO. “We will raise support to care for and provide hope to future generations in our search for a cure.”
Television celebrity and South Dakota native Mary Hart, the former Entertainment Tonight anchor, who will serve as national spokesperson for Edith Sanford and whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, said Sanford Health will unite women across the country. “Edith Sanford Breast Cancer will give women the opportunity to play an active role in cutting-edge research,” said Hart.
The launch of Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research follows a recent $100 million gift from Denny Sanford. “This gift allows the organization to rally people to participate in the biobank and move us closer to a cure,” said Sanford.
Sanford Health has long been a leader in cancer treatment and care delivery. One in four breast cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials, with more than 1,700 total enrollments in cancer research studies over the past five years. Sanford Health was selected by the National Cancer Institute to be one of 30 community cancer centers to participate in the Community Cancer Centers Program designed to help lead the expansion of clinical trials close to home.
Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research will build and expand upon Sanford Health’s current nationally accredited care which includes one of the first 51, or a mere five percent, of the centers in the U.S. to receive full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This rigorous evaluation demonstrates a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to breast diseases.
The announcement was made as part of Sanford Health’s gala week celebration to a group of nearly 300 community ambassadors, founding bio bank participants, physicians, researchers, breast cancer advocates, survivors and Sanford Health leaders.
Sanford Health is conducting an extensive national search for a physician-scientist to lead the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research mission of unlocking each woman’s genetic code to advance today’s prevention and treatments and, ultimately, cure breast cancer for future generations.
Through recent investments in a comprehensive biobank, Sanford Research will use genetic samples (blood and tissue) from a grassroots network of women to revolutionize treatment, a healing experience and ultimately a cure. All women will be able to participate directly by contributing their genetic information to the bio bank for analysis, helping to build both a unique and advanced database for accelerated research.
A new care facility, the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Center, will be constructed on the Sanford USD Medical Center campus in Sioux Falls. An artist’s rendering of the center unveiled at the event consisted of a tower located between the existing Sanford Cancer Center and the VanDemark buildings. Plans also include an expansion of the Roger Maris Cancer Center at Sanford’s downtown campus in Fargo, ND. Both locations will integrate the latest research into innovative care.