Since July of 2012, Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center has provided care for the residents of Aberdeen. As they approach their 10-year anniversary, Dr. Steven Redmond and Executive Director Ashley Erickson look back on past accomplishments and share goals for the future.
“We were here when COVID-19 hit, we did all we could to help northeastern South Dakota. We worked with Avera St. Luke’s and helped each other when things got crowded,” Dr. Redmond said. “We’re all thinking ‘where did those last two years go?’ We were just putting out one fire after another. But now that we’ve gotten through the worst of it, we’ve been able to recognize that there is a need for more mental health services. That’s a direction we want to go in.”
“Part of our community health needs assessment is asking what the community needs, allowing us to build on what we have and what we can provide.” Erickson said. “Along with addressing mental health services and education, we will focus on improving physical activity and nutrition to address adolescent and adult obesity.”
Sanford fit is part of the preventative care and teaches families how to be proactive with their children’s health. By going to churches, schools, and daycares, Sanford can provide families with information and kits that can help create a healthy household.
“With a lot of these things, you can’t do it alone. As an example, there’s a financial burden with healthy food options – unhealthy food tends to be cheaper. We will continue to work with the Salvation Army and United Way to help find ways to offer healthy options for little to no charge to those in need,” Erickson said.
“Going forward, we will be focusing on what we can do to improve the delivery of healthcare to rural areas,” Dr. Redmond added. “With virtual hospital coverage, we can bring the abilities of specialists to patients without having to travel so far. In the past, patients would have to be transferred, but now we can reduce that need.”
Much of the community’s recent focus has been dedicated to the pandemic, but Dr. Redmond has observed another impact in the community that has been much more positive.
“In the past five years, we’ve seen the survival rates of cancer go up,” Dr. Redmond said. “There have also been studies on monoclonal antibodies, which target very specific things, and ideally come with fewer side effects during treatment. As treatment options expand, people are able to live more normal lives.”
“It’s not just about healthcare,” Erickson said. “We’re here to work with the community. We’ve worked to improve overall health by increasing access to quality care, we have invested in the communities we serve, and we have always been proud to serve patients in the community.”
“The past 10 years went by fast, and the next 10 will go by fast too,” Dr. Redmond said. //