Donors Support Services Designed for Women



For 37 years, no one could tell Lori Williamson why she would often get short of breath and nearly pass out from doing the simplest tasks. “I knew something was wrong and my doctors said it was stress,” she said.

Her symptoms worsened in the fall of 2007 to the point that she couldn’t walk up six steps without getting completely winded. “I thought, ‘This is not right. This is not just stress,’” Williamson said.

She turned to a physician at the Sanford Women’s Health Plaza for another opinion, who directed her to see Cardiologist Maria Stys, MD, for more testing at the Sanford Cardiovascular Institute.

Sanford Women’s Health Plaza provides care specifically for women of all ages in all stages of their lives. Generous donors to Sanford Women’s Center of Excellence support programs, equipment purchases and staff education to make it possible for women to receive a variety of services to meet each of their unique needs, such as annual screenings, physical therapy, health behavior coaching and specialized medical care.

This individualized care saved Williamson’s life when Dr. Stys found a hole in her heart, or an atrial septal defect. Nine days later, Williamson had open heart surgery.

“I’m glad it was here and an option for me,” she said.

That wasn’t the only time Williamson utilized services at the Plaza. In the five years following her surgery she gained weight because she was scared to perform any strenuous activities. So Williamson returned to the Sanford Women’s Health Plaza in the fall of 2012 for more help. She met with a personal fitness coach, participated in exercise classes and took direction from a nutritionist who collaborated with her on a new diet plan.

“I’m finally now seeing changes,” she said. “It’s slow, but it’s happening.”

Williamson said she feels comfortable with the services at the Mutch Women’s Center. “This is an amazing place,” she said. “Everyone is so nice. They greet me with a smile at the front desk and they call me by name.” Williamson said she’s lost weight, maintains a healthy heart and feels better than ever.

To learn more about Sanford Women’s Health Plaza and Sanford Women’s Center of Excellence or to make a gift, visit foundation.sanfordhealth.org or call the Sanford Health Foundation at (605) 328-5700.

Posted Date: November 2013

Donors Support Services Designed for Women

For 37 years, no one could tell Lori Williamson why she would often get short of breath and nearly pass out from doing the simplest tasks. So she turned to the Sanford Women’s Health Plaza and the specialists there saved her life.