(Fargo, ND & Sioux Falls, SD) - As a result of a rigorous selection process, Sanford Health officially announced plans today to open a Sanford Clinic in Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa. Through conversations with various World Health Organizations, Ghana has been emphasized as an area of need and opportunity for improved health care services. Sanford will take responsibility for the operations of an existing primary care clinic in Cape Coast, Ghana currently lead by two physicians who are treating 800 patients a week.
This location will serve as the hub for several other general health care clinics throughout Ghana. The clinic will provide general health care services to area children and adults and includes the diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses in the region, especially malaria, diarrhea and respiratory health issues. These services will be provided by physicians, nurses and other community health professionals. Ghana's consistent government and growing economy will allow Sanford to build a model of permanent health infrastructure that can then be parlayed into projects in other parts of the African continent. The first two additional clinics will be in Mankessim, Ghana and Kojokrom, Ghana.
"The venture in Ghana is the beginning of what we hope to be a major change in health care services in Africa," stated Dave Link, Sanford Health senior executive vice president. "Through a 'hub and spoke' model we hope to make an immediate impact on health care in the country and beyond."
Sanford has partnered with Kojo Benjamin Taylor, a Ghana native and business entrepreneur from Minneapolis/St. Paul to gain local expertise on the project. Mr. Taylor has now been contracted by Sanford Health and will lead Sanford's efforts to develop permanent health care infrastructure in Ghana and more broadly in Africa.
"In the developing nation of Ghana, health care is supported by the government in urban areas," said Taylor. "However, much of the population and need is in rural areas where there is a lack of permanent health care infrastructure. In many cases children and families are asked to travel two to four hours to receive basic health care services."
In 2007, South Dakota businessman and philanthropist Denny Sanford set a standard in health care philanthropy with an unprecedented gift of $400 million to Sanford Health. Sanford Health announced that his gift would fund several initiatives including establishing a network of Sanford Clinics around the world in communities seeking to expand access to care to those who need it.
The Sanford Clinic in Ghana is one of seven clinics announced by Sanford as part of the initiatives outlined after a $400 million donation from Denny Sanford in 2007. Sanford Children's has opened pediatric clinics in Duncan, OK and Oceanside, CA. Clinics in Klamath Falls, OR and West Dublin, Ireland are underway. Sanford has also announced plans to open clinics in Carmiel, Israel and the Baja area, Mexico.
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and consists of two long-standing organizations that merged in 2009. Sanford is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with a presence in 112 communities in seven states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing an international clinic in Ireland.
Sanford Health includes 34 hospitals, 116 clinic locations and more than 900 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 20,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanfords $400 million gift in 2007, the largest gift ever to a health care organization in America. This gift is making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global childrens clinics, multiple research centers, eradicating breast cancer and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit sanfordhealth.org.