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INSPIRED TO GIVE. INSPIRED TO HEAL. Sanford HealthHealth Foundation SiouxSioux Falls Falls Summer 2011 Sanford Foundation Fall 2011

Heart screenings

SAVE LIVES The Sanford



Million Dollar Donors in the Making

Jeff and Katie Scherschligt are long time friends and supporters of the Sanford Health Foundation. They became two of the first Builder’s Club members with a gift of $250 in 1988. Through the years, they have continued their giving by establishing multiple endowments to support Sanford Children’s Hospital, the Sanford Cancer Center and key safety initiatives. Now, 23 years later, Jeff and Katie, principal owners of Howalt+McDowell Insurance, have made a $500,000 commitment to the Sanford Health Foundation that they will fulfill through personal and corporate gifts. The Scherschligts learned the importance of philanthropy at a young age and have passed it on to their own children. “My parents instilled the concept of giving in me at a young age, and Katie and I have passed that philosophy on to our kids,” said Jeff. “We tell them save ten percent and give five percent to charity.” Making philanthropy a priority is something the Scherschligts have done personally and through their business, supporting causes close to their hearts.

“Our strong

The couple’s relationship with Sanford Health spans both of their lifetimes and both sides of their family. “Our strong personal tie to Sanford Health comes from being born there,” said Katie, “and having our children born there. We’ve had loved ones whose last minutes of life were at Sanford. It means a lot to us.” In fact, the Scherschligts are dedicating a personal gift of $250,000 to the new Sanford Heart Hospital in memory of Katie’s dad, Richard Anthony Williams. The founder of Williams Insurance, he died at age 56 as the result of a heart attack. According to Jeff, they view this gift—and all of their philanthropy—as an investment. “Sanford Health is a community-owned organization, which means we all own it. I believe in investing in projects—organizations—that make Sioux Falls a growing and vibrant community,” he said. “Sanford Health is a well-run corporate and community jewel. It’s a growth engine for our community in so many ways. Good healthcare keeps our older generation here, it attracts new residents and it has a tremendous impact on our local and regional economy.” The Scherschligts believe the recent merger of Sanford Health and MeritCare will have a positive effect on the Fargo economy, too. So, they are directing the $250,000 corporate portion of their gift to support Building Tomorrow Today, the endowment campaign that will forever improve the human condition by providing perpetual support for Sanford Health in Fargo. The support will allow for the growth of cutting-edge research, technology and health care programs within the Centers of Excellence at the new Sanford West campus in southwest Fargo, and at the repurposed downtown campus. Howalt+McDowell Insurance and its sister company, Great Plains Brokerage, have developed a regional presence in recent years which includes the Fargo area. “We wanted to do our part to inspire those in Fargo to share the same philosophy about giving to healthcare as we do,” said Jeff. Brian Mortenson, President of the Sanford Health Foundation, said the Scherschligts have been inspiring others for years. “Through their generosity, leadership and passion, Jeff and Katie have helped encourage so many other people in their own philanthropy,” he said. “We are so grateful for their friendship and support over the years.” According to Jeff, there are many years of philanthropy ahead of them—and a specific goal. “We plan to be million dollar donors to Sanford Health. I know others have given more, but this is within our means,” he said. “Sioux Falls, and the surrounding community, has been so good to us, and Sanford Health has been a great business partner. We are truly happy givers. We feel good knowing we can make a difference in the lives of others for generations to come.”

personal tie to Sanford Health comes from

being born there, and having our children born there. We’ve had loved

ones whose last minutes of life were at Sanford. It

means a lot to us.” - Katie Scherschligt encourage 3

Protecting his


Lyle Swenson and his granddaughter

A little shortness of breath didn’t worry Lyle Swenson. After a career in law enforcement that spanned more than 40 years, the retired sheriff and U.S. Marshall was used to taking care of others. He spent his days doing historical and genealogical research as a volunteer and working a part-time job that required him to lift some heavy boxes every couple of weeks. He had no reason to think about the health of his own heart. “I’d be out of breath, but it wasn’t a big thing to me,” Lyle said. Nothing would have changed if Lyle’s wife hadn’t suggested he attend a Sanford mobile heart screen. A few quick tests changed—and likely saved—his life, he said.

“People told me they never suspected anything was wrong,” said the 76-year-old Mitchell man. “I’m a very lucky guy.” When Lyle went in for a panel of heart screening tests in January 2010, the technician noted an issue with his EKG on the left side of his heart. During his follow-up screening, Lyle’s cardiologist, Dr. Adam Stys, discovered three arteries were blocked, putting him in immediate danger of a heart attack. The next morning, Lyle underwent a triple bypass. The surgery saved his heart without any long-term damage. Since his surgery, Lyle said he recommends that others take the time to have a heart screening. He had no history of heart disease in his family and had always been active. His cardiologist told him he was weeks or even days away from a heart attack that could have ended his life. Donors to Sanford Heart Hospital and cardiology-related funds, through the Sanford Health Foundation, help ensure the very best heart care is available in this region. To make a gift, visit, choose “Make a Gift Today,” and then “Heart.”

Sanford Heart Hospital construction


With approximately 150 workers on site each day, construction of the Sanford Heart Hospital continues on pace for a March, 2012 opening. Recent activity includes completion of the lower, ground and 1000 levels, with substantial completion of interior finish work slated for late November. Finishing touches are wrapping up on the exterior of the building, including grading and cement work and completion of the Porte Cochere (drive-thru canopy). Planning for multiple open houses is underway with the majority of events scheduled for late February. For those wishing to make a difference in the lives of area heart patients, exciting philanthropic opportunities still exist, including naming and room sponsorships. For more information, contact Amy Bruns or Marya McCrae at (605) 328-5700.

The Sanford PROMISE: A commitment to the future

Scientists who work at Sanford Research are doing far more than just groundbreaking research into new medical treatments and cures. Through The Sanford PROMISE, an innovative new outreach program connecting students, educators and the community, Sanford is preparing and educating the next generation of scientists.

are a growing focus and priority for all of our communities,” said Sanford Health Executive Vice President Dave Link. The Sanford PROMISE was the dream and is the current passion of two Sanford researchers, Jill Weimer and Pete Vitiello, whose philosophy is “educating our scientists of tomorrow is just as important as today’s research.” They

Educators have a chance to work with scientists and develop curriculum and experiments to take back to the classroom. A centerpiece of PROMISE includes a new community laboratory built inside the Sanford Research Center, which leverages technology to create an innovative, handson learning experience both on-site and through satellite connectivity. This unique partnership between Sanford researchers, educators and community partners is a key ingredient in creating a long-term advantage for many of our youth when they compete for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future. The Sanford PROMISE was made possible, in part, thanks to generous donors to the Unrestricted Fund through the Sanford Health Foundation, but more support is needed. To make a gift to this project, visit, chose “Make a Gift Today,” then “Sanford Promise.”

Sanford Research debuted The Sanford PROMISE in May. By providing handson learning opportunities to middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as current scientists and teachers, Sanford Research is taking a focused leadership role in priming the pipeline for a growing science-based economy in the Midwest. “The 21st century workplace and workforce is vastly different than a generation ago, which is why STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educational opportunities

had a vision for creating a program where scientists of all ages could have hands-on opportunities to learn and teach in an unconventional way. “Students deserve the opportunity to engage in real science,” said Weimer, co-director of The Sanford PROMISE. “They deserve the joy of discovery as well as the frustration of failure that makes up the world of research.” The program includes a series of community lectures, shadowing opportunities, internships and sideby-side learning with researchers. encourage 5

New therapy option

comes to Sanford Cancer Center

In June, Sanford Cancer Center in Sioux Falls announced the addition of a new radiation service, thanks in part to donors to cancer funds at the Sanford Health Foundation. TomoTherapy® combines the technologies of a CT scanner and a linear accelerator (produces radiation), calculating the pattern, position and intensity of radiation and delivering it from 360 degrees around the patient. This increases the control and accuracy of treatment while decreasing damage to surrounding healthy tissue, lowering a patient’s risk of side effects. The therapy is also capable of treating small, large and multiple tumors during the same session, eliminating the need to repeatedly reposition the patient. According to Thomas Asfeldt, Director of Outpatient Cancer Services and Radiation Oncology at Sanford Cancer Center, TomoTherapy® has been on the market for nine years. Sanford Cancer Center is the first facility in Sioux Falls to offer the radiation service, and physicians played an important role

in choosing it. “Our physicians lead the discussion to determine which equipment to add to our current radiation therapy options, the Brain Lab Novalis® and the Siemens ONCOR®,” he said. “With this third option of TomoTherapy, they can now decide with the patient which tool is best for the patient’s specific disease, instead of making the patient fit the tool. That’s a tremendous advantage.” TomoTherapy® is anticipated to most often be used to treat prostate and head

and neck cancers, and pediatric patients. As of the end of July, 15 patients were receiving their radiation therapy daily with TomoTherapy® at Sanford Cancer Center. Eventually 25 to 30 patients could be served each day.

To support the Sanford Cancer Center, visit, choose “Make a Gift Today,” and “Cancer.”

Gift Annuity rates have gone up! With a gift annuity, you make a gift to charity and receive benefits like a fixed income with rates based on your age, a charitable deduction and possible tax-free income. The effective rate (total benefit) of your gift annuity is actually higher than most other types of payouts! Best of all, you receive benefits for making a gift to charity. For more information call Marya McCrae or Amy Bruns at (605) 328-5700.

Foundation relocates The Sanford Health Foundation relocated this summer, leaving behind its main campus home of 12 years for quarters off-site. The new office is located at 25th Street and Covell Avenue, just three blocks south of the Sanford Surgical Tower. The new three-story location will better accommodate the Foundation’s growing staff. “This new space not only provides ample room for our current staff, it allows us the ability to host larger meetings, utilize more volunteers and expand our workforce as needed,” said Deb Koski, Vice President of the Sanford Health Foundation, Sioux Falls Region. “We’re grateful for such a great facility so close to the main campus.”

The Foundation’s new physical address is 1410 W. 25th Street, but its mailing address is: PO Box 5039, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5039. The Foundation’s phone number remains the same, (605) 328-5700, but it has a new fax number, (605) 328-5701.

Welcome to the Foundation Elissa Bohnet joined the Sanford Health Foundation in June. In her role as Foundation Assistant, she is responsible for processing electronic funds transfers, credit card transactions and employee payroll gifts, helping with gift entry and acknowledgements, creating reports and assisting with mailings and database management. Previously, she served as an Executive Assistant at South Dakota Achieve Foundation. Elissa grew up in Brandon and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Colorado Technical University. Outside of work, she enjoys kayaking and biking and spending time with her friends and family, which includes her fiancé, Richard, and their blue Weimaraner, Mason.

Stella Dietrich joined the Sanford Health Foundation in May and assists with Foundation administrative and development functions, primarily supporting Brian Mortenson, President, and Brian Bonde, Vice President of Major Initiatives. Previously, Stella served more than four years as Executive Assistant in the Sanford Health Network, and before joining Sanford, worked as a customer service administrator and field operations supervisor for Sprint Communications/Swiftel Communications in Sioux Falls, Sioux City and Nebraska. Stella earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado Technical University and is working toward a master’s degree in International Business. She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, Daryl, and son, Kenneth. They have three grown children and one grandson. In her spare time, Stella, who grew up on a ranch in southeastern Montana, loves to be outdoors camping, fishing, hunting, hiking or gardening. She also enjoys reading and cooking.

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Sanford Health Foundation 1305 W. 18th Street PO Box 5039 Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5039 (605) 328-5700

Calendar of Events September September 11 Sioux Falls Marathon, Half Marathon & Miracle 5K To register, visit Proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Hospital

October October 12-14 Backyard Broadcasting 36 Hour Radiothon for Kids Live from Carlson Great Hall at Sanford Children’s Hospital, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Sanford Children’s Hospital

Thank you. Programs featured in this publication benefit from the support of readers like you.

Fall 2011  
Fall 2011