SSOM 50 Years of Excellence Fund

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The USD Sanford School of Medicine marked its 50th anniversary of becoming a four-year, M.D. degree-granting institution in 2024 and has embarked on a comprehensive fundraising campaign to educate future leaders in medicine.

Over the past five decades, we have graduated over 2,500 physicians and made a tremendous impact on South Dakota’s health care landscape. We continue to focus on rural health and family medicine, producing skilled physicians with the same empathy and patient dedication that we all value.

The medical school envisions a better future for all. Your financial support can make a real difference in ensuring we continue our mission successfully through investments in five identified areas.

The Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences provides the clinical foundation for medical school and supports faculty researchers and scientific discoveries. Your support of the basic biomedical sciences will allow us to:

- Expand the anatomy lab, create a surgical training lab and remodel lecture spaces to empower our students to better engage with faculty and peers in an active learning center environment.

- Broaden research opportunities through the expansion of the Academy for Medical Student Research and provide naming rights for research labs to honor individuals and families.

- Develop named research symposia and offer competitive startup packages to attract highly qualified research faculty candidates.

The renowned Wegner Health Sciences Library is an integral part of medical education for medical students, residents and faculty, as well as a critical resource for health care providers across South Dakota. Strengthening the library contributes to ensuring the vitality of medical education and the quality of care throughout South Dakota. Opportunities to advance the Wegner Health Sciences Library include:

- Increased access to journals and informational resources, which allows us to provide students, residents and faculty with the decision-making tools and clinical resources needed.

- Endowment to support digital library resources providing financial stability and allowing the leadership, faculty and staff to strive to ensure a bright future for the Wegner Health Sciences Library by advancing the education, health and well-being of every South Dakotan.

We can conduct pioneering research initiatives tailored to rural health challenges, implement impactful projects that improve health care access and outcomes, and actively engage in grant writing to secure funding for essential programs with your help. Under the leadership and guidance of the Center for Rural Health Improvement (CRHI), we can make a meaningful difference in rural health and contribute to our mission through:

- Research opportunities to engage in initiatives that address pressing health issues.

- Undertake community-based projects that directly benefit rural South Dakota, empower rural populations with comprehensive health care solutions and foster sustainable health systems.

- Facilitate educational programs that train future health care professionals and provide crucial grants to advance health care access and outcomes.

- Develop a skilled workforce equipped to tackle health care challenges.

Established to honor the legacy of Susan M. Anderson ‘97 M.D. the chair aims to improve the school’s mission of medical education grounded in family medicine. Earnings will be used to support the work and salary of the faculty member who is selected for the honor of being the named chair.

Our medical students are among the best in the nation academically and are known for their strong commitment to the highest ideals of the profession. These physicians of tomorrow are caring and dedicated individuals looking to follow in your footsteps. Ways to support student services include:

- Study aids, additional career counseling staff resources and mental health services. Mental health is the number one priority need identified nationwide by students.

- Well-being coaching for a proactive approach in the overall well-being of our students to better prepare them for the rigor of medical school, residency and the practice of medicine.

- Scholarships to reduce the financial burden of our students, empowering them to focus on their education.

Contact Us

Our success is a result of the generosity of our alumni and friends of the medical school. Reflect on what this medical school means to you and consider supporting our mission well into the future. You can help us improve health care in South Dakota and beyond.

To discuss ways to contribute or schedule a meeting, please contact Kellyna Warnke, director of development, at 605-310-8626 or