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August 09, 2017 06:18 PM

After One Million Patients- What's Next For Sanford World Clinic

Sioux Falls, SD

One local health system's reach is not only across our region, but also around the world. In July, Sanford World Clinic hit a milestone: one million patients. 

"It's very gratifying to have hit that million patient mark," Ann Mays, senior director of clinical services for Sanford World Clinic, said.

Most of the one million patients, about 600,000, received treatment in Ghana, according to Mays. Dr. Scott Boyens, senior director of medical services for the World Clinic, says that he wants to see the type of care change in Ghana.

"Part of our goal, and my goal is to move them from acute care to more chronic disease management," Dr. Boyens said.

Acute care, he explains, treats problems like coughs, colds, the flu, malaria, diarrhea, cuts and fractures.

"Today they're dealing with malaria and diarrhea and other kind of acute things, and we'd like to see them do better with hypertension, diabetes and mental health," Dr. Boyens said.

Planned expansion is in Sanford World Clinic's future.

"There are more clinics coming, in Ghana we hope to have ten, 15 more clinics in the next fiscal year," Mays said. 

The expected growth isn't limited to west Africa.

"In China, we're adding more clinics. We're also adding clinics and other types of partnerships around the world," Mays said.

Mays says that the World Clinic project isn't about integrating other countries' health care with ours.

"It's not about them becoming the US. It's about us partnering with them and helping them grow. And we also learn as we progress through this," Mays said.

Dr. Boyens says that one million isn't a finish line.

"We've got a lot of work to do. There's a lot more people to see than that. There's a lot more improvements to make in access and patient safety," he said.

One place where a World Clinic is planned is New Zealand. Sanford Health says it is set to open in 2018.

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