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West Fargo Public School’s STEM Center Partnering with Sanford Health

Team from Sanford Host Innovative Professional Development Training Day

(West Fargo, N.D.) – A group of 30 STEM Center and West Fargo High School staff members will gather for the first time with members from the Sanford Health Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI) on Monday, Oct. 8 for a day of learning and collaboration.

The significance of this community partnership brings forward the idea that two very traditional institutions – health care and education – can and need to work together to collaborate and reach real improvement.

Sanford Health’s OCI brings departments together to help understand current processes and facilitate improvements for workflows. OCI staff work to achieve goals of improving efficiency, quality, safety and patient satisfaction by reducing waste, standardizing work and focusing on value-added work.

Striving to be leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, the West Fargo STEM Center is an educational program that works towards making education relevant to the real-world and engaging students through rigorous, inquiry-based learning. Since its inception in 2009, the STEM education program has continued to expand and now houses approximately 250 students in grades six through eight.

In this new partnership, the OCI team’s expertise will be shared in the form of a workshop with the STEM staff members. The group will work to identify waste in systems, processes and workflows, develop standard work and create an action plan for integrating the concepts learned into the classroom. Participants will network and brainstorm future partnerships, projects, internships and authentic experiences that would be mutually beneficial for students and Sanford Health.

“As the need for trained professionals in the areas of math, science and health care continue to grow, it’s imperative that we continue to make these connections for our students,” said Adam Gehlar, WFHS Assistant Principal. “We are preparing our students for their future of problem solving. It’s important to know what that may look like and what tools are currently being used.”

“At Sanford Health, one of our goals is not only on supporting a healthy lifestyle for our youth, but also encouraging and supporting the thinkers and leaders of the future,” says Kathy Helming, Sanford Health OCI Executive Director. “Education must develop children with critical thinking skills and abilities to be flexible and adaptable within the workforce.”


Editor’s Note: Media are invited to attend the workshop at 10:30am on October 8th located at the West Fargo STEM Center, 109 3rd St E, West Fargo. Interviews will be available with Kathy Helming, Sanford Health OCI Executive Director, Michelle Weber STEM Center Principal, and Adam Gehlhar WFHS Assistant Principal.

Michelle Weber
STEM Center Middle School Principal


Adam M. Gehlhar
WFHS Assistant Principal
(701) 356-2050

Andrea Voorhees
Sanford Health – Fargo Region
(701) 200-6080
Follow Me @SanfordAndrea