Dennis Barrett

Why I give: Dennis Barrett

February 23, 2021

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3-4

These are the words Dennis Barrett lives by. They are what motivated him to work in health care and have guided him as he advanced to director of orthopedics and sports medicine at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

They are what drives him to share God’s love by giving through the Sanford Health Foundation to support his personal passions.

We caught up with Dennis to ask a few questions about what giving means to him:


1. What do you enjoy most about your work?

Truly the people, both the patients and the staff. My passion is about assisting patients with their health. In orthopedics, one of the greatest feelings of success is to help someone through the entire process. From diagnosis, conservative care, surgery, rehab and seeing them at the end with a big smile and walking out the door and saying, “thank you.”

As a manager and now director, my passion is still patients. Even though I may not be on the front line caring for one patient at a time, I can impact that delivery through improving our services and mentoring my team as well.


2. Why is it important for you to give back through the Sanford Health Foundation?

I have lived in the Bemidji community for about 38 years. This community has opened its doors to me and given me an opportunity to create an amazing life for my family. I have been blessed and am grateful to be able to give back.

I have a strong faith and belief in Jesus Christ. He gave us the greatest commandments to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and the second, love your neighbor as yourself. It is truly my passion and ministry to love people. I have been greatly blessed financially, and I am so grateful to be able to give back.


3. Do you have a personal story that inspired your gifts?

When I was 20 years old, I received a call early in the morning on a Saturday that my father had had a massive heart attack and was in critical condition. He was 49 years old. He survived, but was left with severe heart damage. He lived another 23 years fighting through the different stages of heart failure. Knowing that there is a huge genetic component to heart disease made a lasting impression on me.

As I grew and learned more, I was greatly aware that our community had a lack of resources for the treatment of acute heart attacks. Being part of the Foundation and through my gifts, I was able to impact the outcomes of lives here in our community. I didn’t want others to have to struggle with the damages of heart disease.


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In just two minutes, you can help expand and enhance heart services or support another cause you are personally passionate about.

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