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About Us

The DeGroot Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the Healing Arts is an ethics consultation and education resource for Sanford USD Medical Center employees, students and area community members. Formal ethics involvement at Sanford Health initiated in 1984 with the forming of the hospital’s first bioethics committee. The committee had a multidisciplinary composition and continues today as an active institutional ethics committee. In 1987 the Center was founded as a response to the growing interest and emphasis on ethics in health care. Today the Abel and Norma DeGroot Endowment for Bioethics, Humanities, and the Healing Arts supports the Center’s efforts in the areas of health care ethics, clinical ethics consultation, advanced care planning, education, research ethics, integrative health, organizational ethics, quality and safety, palliative care, end-of-life care, cultural competency, medical humanities, and community health care.

Learn more about the history of the DeGroot Center here.

The evolution of medicine and science elicits a greater need for sound ethical judgment among clinicians, research scientists and related professionals. As Sanford Health continues to transform into a multi-faceted system providing a breadth of health care services while contributing to the forefront of scientific advancement, the art and science of these efforts call for sound ethical judgment that parallels discovery and technology. Therefore, the goals of the DeGroot Center include:

  • Consult on individual services
  • Promote community dialogue on issues in health care ethics
  • Provide a library of resources to assist in the study, research and teaching of ethics
  • Develop a speakers’ bureau to assist in community education by regularly providing educational opportunities to health care workers and the greater community
  • Support local graduate and undergraduate health care ethics education programs
  • Encourage study, research and writing in the area of health care ethics
  • Collaborate with community partners and provide leadership on emerging issues in health care ethics

The DeGroot Center provides:

  • Bioethics and clinical consultation: offering a hospital clinical ethics consultation service, advanced care planning and a hospital biomedical ethics committee
  • Education: sponsoring monthly educational events for employees, students and community members
  • Research ethics: through consultation and education for Institutional Review Boards, students and professionals
  • Integrative health: encouraging a comprehensive, person-centered approach to health care, mindfully blending the art of healing and the science of medicine to promote the health of the whole person – body, mind and spirit
  • Organizational ethics: through the support for health care organizations in developing sound, ethical responses to administrative challenges, contributing to the Sanford Health enterprise-wide ethics committee

The DeGroot Center supports:

  • Quality, safety and ethics: through emphasis on the duties and obligations of care providers in order to seek quality and safety in the patient care experience
  • Palliative care and end-of-life care: by attention to the physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of people with life-limiting illness and by supporting advanced care planning
  • Cultural competency: cultivating a sensitivity to and awareness of cultural influences that impact the performance of professional duties and patient care
  • Medical humanities: teaching and providing professional education opportunities on the impact of enhancing the experiences of health care professionals and patients through the integration of the arts and medicine
  • Community health care: enhancing the well-being of the community by collaborative attention to ethical and legal concerns