When you see the name Sanford you are confident of the healthcare services that you are receiving. The services are offered to you with experience, resources and expertise from the region’s largest healthcare network. Sanford Sheldon strives to provide as much as possible in a rural community while offering easy access to specialized care when necessary.
Through the first half of the 20th Century, health care was offered in houses scattered throughout the area. Then, the community organized forces to build a community hospital. In 1952, when it opened, the needs of health care were centered on inpatient care. Pneumonia meant a minimum of five days hospitalization; gallbladder removal was major surgery requiring seven days stay, on average.
Laboratory and pharmacy space could be small, because there were few tests available to assist doctors as they made diagnoses and the world of miracle drugs was in its infancy. Insurance payments, legal challenges and the documentation that is now required were not common, hence administrative needs were few.
Soon, the factors in place when the hospital was designed changed. That change continued, often at a rapid pace, until the current and very different model of care has been established.
The hospital's first addition, three patient rooms and the Sunroom now used for Hospice, was completed in 1957. Additional rooms were built in 1961, and later converted to administration and business office space.
A decade later, in 1971, an area was built to house new diagnostic services — the laboratory and radiology departments — and surgery. Since then, those areas have been modernized one more time and moved to strategic locations.
As patients lived longer, the long-term care center was constructed and opened (1990). In 1995, a new medical clinic was added to provide room for and attract quality physicians. In 1997, the most recent addition, one to house radiology's latest equipment and a laboratory equipped with many more diagnostic tools, was completed. That addition, joining the hospital with outpatient clinics, was the first phase of a period of planned renewal.
Specialized services are no longer the exclusive domain of large medical centers. Now specialists go to the patient, or at least meet them halfway. Current specialized services offered at the health center include:
- Allergy and Asthma
These specialists conduct clinics as outreach from their home offices in Sioux Falls, Spencer, Orange City, Sioux City and Worthington.