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Video: Sanford Health's Journey to Cure Type 1 Diabetes Receives Major Boost
Date:7/10/2008

Historic $10 Million Gift Creates Fund for Sanford Project Chair

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanford Health announced today it has received a $10 million gift from Todd and Linda Broin of Sioux Falls, SD to fund the chair of the Sanford Project. The gift for the Todd and Linda Broin Chair of the Sanford Project will be used to support the Sanford Project research director's salary as well as research activities associated with the director role. According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, which tracks all publicly-reported gifts of $1 million or more through its Million Dollar List, this is likely the largest known private gift given for the recruitment and support of a single research leader and that individual's related research activities.

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"The success of the Sanford Project is dependent on the expertise and dedication of a world-class research team," said Sanford Health President and Chief Executive Officer Kelby Krabbenhoft. "This generous donation from Todd and Linda Broin will allow us to support a lead researcher and the team who will attack and cure type 1 diabetes by focusing on beta cell regeneration." "We came to the conclusion in our lifetime we want to give a gift that has meaning, and this is that one gift that has a lot of purpose," stated Todd Broin. Linda Broin added, "We didn't want it to be an endowment. We're doing this for the cure. We want this to happen and believe it will happen here in Sioux Falls."

On June 6, Sanford Health leaders announced the objective of the Sanford Project is to cure type 1 diabetes via the body's natural ability to regenerate beta cells. Type 1 diabetes currently affects 3 million people in the United States, including Linda Broin who has suffered from the disease for almost 30 years. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. It often strikes during childhood, makes patients dependent on insulin for life and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.

"Todd and Linda Broin believe the Sanford Project will bring them and millions of others relief from this disease," added Krabbenhoft. "Through the Sanford Project, our research team will hope to either spur the body to copy existing functioning beta cells or to coax the pancreas to create new ones. When people with the disease have regenerated beta cells, they can begin making their own insulin again."

Regeneration research focuses on triggering the body to re-grow the insulin-producing beta cells that have been killed by the autoimmune response. It also works to prevent destruction of the newly regenerated cells by the same autoimmune reaction. The intent of the Sanford Project will be to focus on bench-side research and closely integrating translational research opportunities with clinical treatment. The Sanford Project is one of four initiatives outlined after a transformational gift of $400 million by South Dakota businessman and philanthropist Denny Sanford in 2007.

"I am absolutely thrilled by this extraordinary gift," stated Denny Sanford. "Todd and Linda's amazing initiative and generosity has established a great pace for accomplishment for the Sanford Project. This will capture the attention of the best research scientist candidates from around the world. I am grateful, touched and inspired by this extraordinary leadership, and I add my heartfelt and sincere thanks along with the millions who suffer with type 1 diabetes. Thank you, Todd and Linda Broin, for jump starting the quest for the cure in such a dramatic and impacting fashion!"

To chair the Sanford Project, Sanford Health is currently recruiting a senior scientific leader with a superior record of accomplishment in type 1 diabetes research. The core of the Sanford Project research will be conducted in a developing 185-acre research park in the city's growing southwest corridor. In addition to the $10 million donation from Todd and Linda Broin, Sanford Health plans an investment of $30 million over five to seven years. Additional funding is expected from foundation and industry sources as well as the National Institutes of Health.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health's comprehensive, integrated system includes nearly 370 physicians in 115 clinics, 23 hospitals, 13 nursing homes, 17 assisted living facilities and congregate living locations, 27 home health services and 19 pharmacies. With approximately 12,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in the region. Its primary 500-bed nonprofit tertiary care hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, serves an average of more than 30,000 inpatients annually. With more than a million outpatient visits each year, Sanford Health has served the 80,000 square mile, four-state region of South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska for over 110 years. Sanford Health is the largest healthcare system between Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and Denver, CO. Its divisions include Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Clinic, Sanford Health Network, Sanford Health Plan and Sanford Health Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.sanfordhealth.org.


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