Dr. Josh Crabtree, Sanford Health’s senior vice president of clinical operations for the Sioux Falls region, with his wife, Emily, and their children.

Five questions with Dr. Josh Crabtree

February 27, 2020

“If you’re able to give back, you should,” says Dr. Josh Crabtree.

As Sanford Health’s senior vice president of clinical operations for the Sioux Falls region, and a physician who spent 16 years caring for patients in the town of Luverne, Minn., Dr. Crabtree has seen firsthand the power of philanthropy.

As a donor himself, he hopes to set an example that inspires others.

We recently caught up with Dr. Crabtree to talk about his support for the Foundation. He and his wife, Emily, recently pledged generous gifts to the Sanford Luverne General Fund and the new Providing Needed Assistance to Patients Locally (PNAPL) Fund.


What inspires you to give back?

I get a lot more happiness out of giving than just having.

By giving through the Foundation, there’s really no limit to what we can accomplish together. We can be part of something bigger than ourselves, and do more together than we ever could individually.

If you’re able to give back, you should.


You’re a generous supporter of the PNAPL Fund (a.k.a. the Pineapple Fund) and the Sanford Luverne General Fund. Why are those priorities for you?   

When my wife and I chose to give back to the Sanford Health Foundation, we wanted to support Sanford’s mission in our community through the Luverne General Fund. We strongly believe in the mantra, “give where you live.”

But we were also looking for other areas that might need support.

When we heard about the PNAPL Fund, we looked at each other, like, “That’s it! That’s exactly a place where we want our money to be.”

It was initiated by some of my colleagues here at Sanford who saw patients going without basic things essential to their well-being (like pill minders or diabetic shoes) because they didn’t have the financial means.

This fund is a way of helping get people what they need.


Has there been a moment where you’ve been especially proud of the difference your support makes?   

I heard a story about how the PNAPL Fund was used to grant a woman’s dying wish to travel and visit her friend in Kansas. It was a several hour drive and she needed oxygen for the trip.  She was unable to afford oxygen and did not have insurance coverage for this palliative medication. The PNAPL Fund assisted with the oxygen so she could make that trip.

It might sound like a small thing to some folks, but it was a huge thing to that woman.

It made me proud to be part of an organization that has a way to give that kind of a gift to a person.


Sanford employees, like you, already give time and talents to support our mission, why is it important to give philanthropically as well?

The work we do here at Sanford is more than a job. Patient care is a calling. Philanthropic gifts augment the meaningfulness of the gifts of time and talent. It can be a banner for those outside of Sanford showing the depth of our support for the mission in our organization.


What do you love most about your work at Sanford?

What makes me proud to come to work every day is that we have a lot of really strong, talented people driven to take good care of patients. The opportunity to work at Sanford is an opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself.

It’s important to support the work we do here in every way you can.