In a company-wide email, Sanford Health announced a decision “to streamline leadership structure and simplify operations in a few focused areas,” leading to layoffs in non-clinical areas.
“These changes have been driven by our recognition that at the end of every decision is a patient or resident, and that remains our focal point as we move our organization forward,” Sanford Health CEO and President Bill Gassen stated in the email.
He went on to say the changes will “not adversely impact patient or resident care in any way.”
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Sanford Health did not release the number of employees laid off. In the email, Gassen said Sanford Health is currently hiring for more than 6,000 positions.
“Looking ahead, we are focused on strategically managing our business in ways that advance patient and community health while remaining committed to being a premier employer in the region for decades to come,” Gassen said. “This is all part of a planful effort to strengthen our focus on the patients, residents and families we care for.”
Sanford announces big expansions in 2022
In September, Sanford Health announced a $350 million expansion in telemedicine.
In June, the healthcare system opened a new 36,550-square-foot-expansion to the Van Demark building to its main Sioux Falls campus. Sanford Health also broke ground on a 205,000-square-foot orthopedic hospital in June and expects it to open in the fall of 2025.
In May, Sanford broke ground on a 26,500-square-foot clinic on the northwest corner of Madison Street and Veterans Parkway which will include 34 clinical exam rooms and space for 12 new providers. That location is expected to open in early 2024.
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Before the layoffs were announced, the healthcare system said it employs more than 47,000 people across its footprint. About 2,800 of those are physicians and advanced practice providers, according to its website. There are more than 8,700 registered nurses within the system.
Sanford’s footprint includes 47 medical centers and 224 clinic locations. There are also 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and 158 nursing and rehab facilities as part of the network. Sanford makes more than 5 million outpatient and clinic visits a year, according to its website.
History behind Sanford
Sanford has ties dating toward the beginning of the 20th century, when The Seney House, at 924 W. Fourth St., opened in 1894. From there, the company grew. In 1926, the organization changed its name to Sioux Valley Hospital Association following a merger of Sioux Falls Lutheran Hospital and Bethany Association.
Growth followed in the years following, including in 2003 when then-Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System grew to 25 hospitals and 92 clinics, employing more than 300 physicians.
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In 2004, Kelby Krabbenhoft, who was the system’s president and CEO at the time, announced a $16 million challenge gift to begin the construction of a new children’s hospital. Sanford continued to make donations, including a $20 million contribution to “support further development of the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota” in 2005.
In 2007, Sanford gave $400 million to the health system, and the name changed to Sanford Health. Since then, Sanford has made a number of notable contributions to the health system.