We have two fine health systems operating in and from Sioux Falls, and I thank God for them daily. But I'm about to have a bit of fun with both...
The front page of today's Sioux Falls Argus Leader featured the headline:
Sanford eyes Oregon, Ireland
Does that mean Sanford Health wants to buy and rename them?
After all, the article includes the news that Sanford's merger with North Dakota's MeritCare, which created the largest rural regional health network in the U.S., will result in the MeritCare name going away and the whole operation becoming Sanford Health.
But apart from fun with the headline, there's very positive news. Sanford is building clinics around the U.S. and in other countries where pediatric care is a pressing need.
Sanford continues to consolidate and expand its medical research departments, in particular the "Sanford Project" to seek a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.
I had fun with our other regional health system as well. Lower on the Argus' front page was a blurb about Avera Mckennan Hospital landing world champ bicyclist Lance Armstrong to speak at the opening of the new Avera Cancer Institute in October.
Now, some of the local competition includes Avera's styling as the humble Roman Catholic hospital standing up against a soulless Sanford corporate giant... except now Avera is building a big opening and fundraiser around a professed atheist.
Of course the positive news is that Armstrong is a cancer survivor - more than that, a person who overcame cancer and continued to fulfill personal goals on a world stage. Certainly an inspiration for the survival and quality of life hopes of cancer patients.
May Sanford and Avera continue to thrive and lift the quality of life on the Northern Plains and beyond.