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This Is One Extra Special Night



On July 31, 15,000 people, including Sanford Health medical transcriptionist Melissa Schumacher and her daughter Lacey, celebrated the historic Fargo Medical Center Groundbreaking and Summer Spectacular with a concert by international rock sensation Train.

It’s an appropriate musical choice for Melissa’s daughter, Lacey, who will walk down the aisle to Train’s “Marry Me” in August.

History Being Made

As the grapefruit sorbet-colored sun set in the west, Sanford guests, Melissa and Lacey among them, sparked with energy as Sanford Health leaders broke ground on the largest private construction project in the history of the Dakotas: Sanford Fargo Medical Center.

It was a moment for celebration among employees and family members. A time to celebrate building the future of health care in North Dakota. It was also a time to honor the hard work and compassionate care that defines the Sanford Health experience.

Among attendees were Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, who took time to thank everyone who makes Sanford Health a great place to work as well as a great place to be a patient.

Referencing the energetic musical accompaniment for the evening, Krabbenhoft said, “This is a different kind of groundbreaking, and tonight is all about you. Fifteen thousand people here tonight want something exceptional, and we will deliver.”

As the largest non-industrial project in the history of North Dakota, the $541 million project is expected to change the landscape of health care in the region, bringing state-of-the-art medical equipment, research and care to the region’s people – an opportunity Sanford Fargo Medical Center President Dennis Millirons celebrated during the groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to thank all of you, and especially your family members, for their support as you take care of our patients,” Millirions said.

Also present: North Dakota Governor Jack Dalyrymple, who said the groundbreaking and summer spectacular would go down in history as a milestone on the journey to health care excellence in North Dakota and beyond.

“Someday, we will all say we were here the night this incredible facility was built, was started,” Dalrymple said to a roaring cheer from the crowd, Melissa and Lacey among the thousands illuminated by the opportunity to be a part of the journey.

A Vision for the Future

A vision several years in the making, plans for the new medical center in southwest Fargo have been in the works since the 2009 merger between MeritCare and Sanford Health. Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, along with Krabbenhoft and Dr. Roger Gilbertson, who served as the only chief executive in MeritCare’s 17-year history, formed initial plans to build the new facility.

“The pillars of our community stood by our decision and said ‘let’s do it,’ ” said Krabbenhoft.

A short three years later, the vision has turned into a reality. “This organization has exceeded all promises made, and will continue to deliver on all promises,” said Denny Sanford. “We are going to keep providing the best health care in the state.”

Promises Made. Promises Kept.

As plans continue to unfold for the new medical center, leaders and planners are working around the clock to ensure the Sanford Health vision of courage, passion, resolve, advancement and family stays top of mind for the many generations the facility will soon serve.

“Fargo’s new campus will be an incredible landmark for 100 years to come. It will be a bustling building that borders on spiritual – a building of wonder,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft.

Millirons said this is a significant time in the history of Sanford Health and also for the history of the region. “This facility will touch the people of this region for generations, providing absolute exemplary care, and making a difference in the lives of patients, staff and our greater community.”

Immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony, the energy swelled as opening band Nick Rallis Band kicked off the upbeat music. Soon after, a 99 percent full moon rose, serving as a memorable backdrop to a 100 percent energy-driven performance from Train frontman Patrick Monahan and his crew. It was an evening best described by one Tweeter as “by far the most amazing concert I’ve ever been to.”

Other comments by Sanford Health Twitter

    “@train concert was brilliant tonight! Thanks to everyone who made it a lovely evening! :)”
    “@train loving every minute of this!!”
    “So much fun at @SanfordHealth 's @train concert!"
    "@nsnicole first concert ever! #amazing #train"
    "@DrTerstriep One of my favorite experiences: singing Hey Soul Sister with my kids with Train @SanfordHealthwhile awesome fireworks were going off!"
    "@abboggs Amazing night! #grateful @michaeldlarson: @train concert in a corn field. @balanjohnson@abboggs #katieneedstwitter"
    "@ClaytheSchwartz Train concert.....fantastic. No words to describe it. Now just to get out of this parking lot."
    "@ndsuryan AWESOME finish to #Train concert at new @SanfordHealth location in Fargo with#NDSUBison pep band drummers on stage and huge fireworks!"
    "@meganbistodeau Highlight of my week? @train performing at the#sanford groundbreaking ceremony!"

A Night to Remember

Aside from the addresses by leadership and the spectacular concert by Train, attendees were able to walk the expansive land that will in a few years be home to all 1.3 million sq. ft. of the medical center.

Annette Schultz, director of Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI), said, “Our OCI team has been part of the new Fargo Medical Center planning process, and it was eye-opening to finally walk the land and be able to imagine the magnitude of what we are all working towards.” Paula Milne, IT application support project manager at Sanford Health Bemidji, said, “It’s remarkable to be a part of an organization that continues to grow, have a vision for 25 years down the road, and how it will impact the world. It’s also significant to be a part of history, and seeing the new medical center’s design is incredible.”

“It is amazing what great lengths Sanford goes to show their employees they are appreciated and that each of us are an important part of the organization no matter what our position is,” said Melissa Schumacher. “Thank you for appreciating us. This is one extra special night.”

A summer spectacular to remember. A history in the making.

About the Fargo Medical Center

The medical center will serve over 4,200 patients every day and will be located on the south side of I-94 between 45th St. and Veterans Boulevard in southwest Fargo. The 10-story project will include 460 hospital beds, 12 heart catheterization labs and interventional rooms, 32 operating rooms and 51 emergency department bays. By 2018, the new medical center will include more than 260 practicing physicians working in 48 different specialties. Sanford currently employs more than 7,500 staff in Fargo/Moorhead and the medical center will create an additional 2,000 full-time, permanent positions.

For more information about Sanford Fargo Medical Center, click here. To view the Building Futures video, which builds awareness, understanding and excitement on how we are building the future of health care, click here.

Posted Date: August 2012

This Is One Extra Special Night

Fargo Medical Center Groundbreaking and Summer Spectacular