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Sanford Builds Around Breast Health Initiative

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Sanford is growing again. Sometime in the next year, Sanford will expand their breast cancer facility in Sioux Falls.

In 2011, T. Denny Sanford donated $100 million to the Sanford Health System. Thanks to that gift,
Sanford has made great strides in it's breast health initiative, that includes bringing in state of the art equipment.

Sanford Breast Surgeon Dr. Jesse Dirksen said, "Instead of doing just two views from the breast, from the top and side, we're basically getting a couple hundred images of the breast."

That initiative also comes in the form of recruiting doctors and surgeons. Dirksen has done a fellowship in breast oncology, bringing the latest technology to Sioux Falls.

Dirksen said, "We're trying to get things as less invasive as possible and have a very desirable cosmetic outcome."

Much of that gift has also been spent on breast cancer research.

"We're heavily involved in genomics and studying the DNA of breast cancer. That's very exciting, but also, we want to do something for the patients right now and that's specifically why we're excited about the new breast cancer building going up," said Dirksen.

Soon, whether it will include adding onto the Vandemark and cancer center building or expanding out, Sanford will most likely be building on the North side of 18th Street, in the hopes of putting all aspects of the breast health initiative in the same place.

Dirksen said, "We hope to have what we call a multi-disciplinary clinic where the patient could see me as a surgeon during that day, during that visit. They're able to see the oncologist, the radiology doctor, the pathologist, geneticist. Every person, every part of the team, they could see all in one building."
Sanford hopes this will put their patients' minds at ease while they're in their care.

There are no specifics on the facility yet, but it's expected to cost somewhere around $25 million.

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