Making an Impact with the Legacy Society

“We want to make an impact,” said Cindy Hoy. “That’s just part of who we are. We want to influence and impact the world we live in.”

Cindy and her husband, Tom, are members of the Sanford Health Legacy Society, a select group of visionary donors who have made a lasting commitment to Sanford Health through their estate plan. Their purposeful philanthropy will help ensure continued medical innovation and world-class care for generations to come.

Their connection to Sanford Health runs deep, beginning with the time doctors saved Tom’s life after a snowmobiling accident when he was just 14. He stayed on the orthopedic floor for 10 days and missed half of the school year while recuperating.

“I have no doubt the fact that I spent some time here as a patient probably led me in some aspect of health care along the way,” said Tom, who currently serves as director of the SHIINE Program, educating and assisting seniors with Medicare.

But the second and more significant life-saving experience for the Hoys occurred on Aug. 16, 2001. After a typical long work day as a nursing home administrator, Tom took an evening drive along a gravel road outside Sioux Falls, S.D. Upon approaching an intersection, he was suddenly t-boned by another vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.

“I’m upside-down in the vehicle, it’s dusty and I’m hanging from a seatbelt,” he said. “I can’t breathe because I’m bleeding internally. I remember praying, ‘God, something terrible has happened to me and if this is the end, I’ve had a good life. But if you can help me put the pieces together, I’ll continue to do good work for you.’”

Tom was rushed via helicopter to the Emergency Department at Sioux Valley Hospital. He was suffering from significant internal bleeding, including a severely bruised heart and lungs, and a fractured pelvis.

While Tom was receiving emergency care, Cindy was hours away in Nebraska when she was notified of the news of the accident by a nurse.

“I remember driving home alone in the middle of the night knowing he was in surgery, uncertain about Tom’s survival,” she said. “It was scarier than I could have ever imagined. I was six hours from home exhausted, drained and beside myself with worry.”

Cindy eventually arrived at Tom’s bedside in the Intensive Care Unit at 3 a.m., where he was a patient for 10 grueling days. Altogether, Tom spent a total of 15 days in the hospital, followed by several weeks of rehabilitation. Through the waves of hope and helplessness, the Hoys endured, grateful for faith, family and friends, as well as the skilled medical team and all the staff at Sioux Valley who were at their side every step of the way.

“The staff not only cared for Tom, but also cared for me,” Cindy said. “It’s interesting now as I’m working here, I see how important it is to care for the families.”

Two years later, Cindy joined Sioux Valley’s team herself, as the director of Spiritual Care Services. She remains in that role today and says she feels more confident in helping employees, patients and their families cope in tragedy.

“I lived the rollercoaster experience of the ICU,” she said. “Your hopes go up and your hopes are dashed, day after day after day.”

Miraculously, Tom has made a full recovery, and the Hoys are grateful. Through their thoughtful planned giving to Sanford Health, the Hoys are confident they’ll help strengthen hope for countless others patients and families who will come through the hospital doors.

“We believe God created each of us to be a blessing to others,” Tom said. “We experienced genuine concern and compassion by every staff member. Everyone in crisis needs a steady hand of support.”

He said they know that in the next 10 to 20 years things are going to drastically change with the way hospitals operate.

“We don’t know what the future holds in health care, but we trust that there will be competent people that will manage it with stewardship and credibility,” Tom said.

Thanks to the partnership of the Hoys, and other members of the Legacy Society, Sanford Health can continue leading the way in cutting-edge health care for our communities today and tomorrow. By arranging future gifts by means of wills, estate plans, insurance policies, life insurance agreements such as gift annuities or charitable trusts, members ensure their life's work and personal values will be remembered just as they wish.

“It’s our privilege to help ensure the legacies of our donors live on through their generous support of Sanford Health,” said Chad Rohlfs, director of development at the Sanford Health Foundation. “The dedication of our Legacy Society will help ensure a bright future of continued caring, healing and discovery.”

To learn more about the Legacy Society or make a gift, visit or call the Sanford Health Foundation at (605) 312-6700.

Posted Date: June 2014

Making an Impact with the Legacy Society

Tom and Cindy Hoy want to make an impact in their community, so they joined the Sanford Health Legacy Society, a select group of visionary donors.