Sanford is recruiting some pretty talented people (like Kimberly Simpson Earle and Chris Orzechowski) and empowering them with phenomenal resources like significant funding and the most technological devices that few places, if any, in the world are able to avail their researchers and physicians…like the 4th and 5th cardiac stent placement robots in the country and the world’s largest tissue bank for breast cancer research. This tissue bank is Denny Sanford’s greatest advantage in his mission to eradicate breast cancer through genetic isolation of the disease as opposed to only focusing on treatment in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. And they’re making significant progress. Already, they have identified many more types of breast cancer that respond better to treatments previously reserved for what were believed to have been “completely different” cancers.
Those of you who watch the Big Bang Theory may also appreciate the fact that the Higgs-Boson particle (dark matter) was also discovered here in South Dakota. (In a lab deep within a gold mine under acres of prairie grass and pines in the Black Hills).
What also surprised us was the fact that Sioux Falls really is a great place to raise a family. Their clean air and clean water (cleanest in the country in fact) is almost as impressive as the culture we’ve experienced at every turn during our visits. It’s been like the Chevy Chase film “Funny Farm”. After every encounter, I catch myself looking over my shoulder to see if the mayor is actually dolling out $100 bills and thanking residents for a “great performance” and reminding them to “keep smiling!”.
Sioux Falls offers us the opportunity to raise our daughter in, what feels like, more of a community than a city or town. It’s interesting to see that, even with all the various funding, many of the rooms at Sanford Hospital have been donated by local families.