Sanford's support for veterans has earned significant recognition in 2019. (Above: Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft accepts a 2019 Pro Patria Award with Sanford and military personnel in the Veterans Club at Sanford USD Medical Center.)

Hire Heroes USA: Sanford goes ‘extra mile’ for vets

September 24, 2019

Sanford Health recently was recognized as a national leader in veteran recruitment and retention.

The honor came from Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit that provides civilian employment assistance to veterans. Sanford was named one of six national employers that “truly go the extra mile for veterans and military spouses.” See the full announcement.

Since formalizing the Sanford Department of Veterans and Military Services in 2017, the health system has made support for veterans a centerpiece of its larger mission. With the generous backing of donors to the Sanford Health Foundation, it continues to raise the bar for hiring, caring for and supporting veterans throughout the region and across the country.

Employer of Choice

In addition to the distinction from Hire Heroes USA, Sanford Health is the recipient of multiple state Pro Patria awards, which recognize leadership practices and personnel policies that support employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve.

This year, Sanford Health also made the Military Times Best for Vets: Employers 2019 list and was named a semifinalist for the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Benefits for veteran employees include differential pay, continuation of benefits, an education scholarship, a Veteran of the Year Award and more.


Free genetic testing for veterans

In March, Sanford Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a partnership to provide free genetic testing to VA patients.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie has since touted Sanford Health as a national example of businesses making a difference for veterans. In an op-ed published this summer in the Washington Examiner, Wilkie emphasized that collaboration with companies, like Sanford, helps the VA innovate and deliver modern health care, through modern means, to veterans.

“The partnerships that the VA is developing with those companies will help us serve even more veterans this way and give these companies a front-row seat as this revolution unfolds,” Wilkie wrote.

The genetic testing program is funded by a $25 million donation from philanthropist Denny Sanford and a matching fundraising effort from Sanford Health


Veterans Clubs

In 2018, Sanford unveiled Veterans Clubs at its medical centers in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., giving veterans and service members a dedicated space of their own for comfort and camaraderie.

The clubs, supported in part by Foundation donors, are the first of their kind in the United States.

In addition to providing a space to relax or talk with fellow veterans between appointments, the private areas offer coffee and water, guest computer access and a lounge with a game table and TV.


Honor our heroes

To learn more about supporting veterans and service members in your community and beyond, please contact your local Foundation team.