SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Remotely provided care is a big part of the future of the healthcare business, so South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Dakota State University have forged a strategic alliance to work together on cyberhealth innovations and job development, both organizations announced Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The Sioux Falls-based Health System, whose primary footprint is across South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota, is pairing with the Madison-based university to form what they're calling a "partnership on steroids," the Cyberhealth Strategic Alliance.

For Sanford Health, the alliance offers a connection to a potentially rich source of future employees in a key growth area of the health system's business, a "pipeline to new cyber-savvy college graduates to fill the ever-growing cyber professional jobs here at Sanford," said Josh Robinson, chief information officer at Sanford Health..

"Those people are a scarce resource in our region. If we’re going to continue our success, we need the best of them to come work at Sanford," he said.

For DSU, the partnership offers a chance for universities students to work side-by-side with professionals in their chosen careers, giving them career-building experiences and boosting the value of their degree.

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“The activities of the alliance will establish Madison, Sioux Falls and South Dakota as a nationally-recognized, CyberHealth innovation hub," said José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University. "The alliance will increase and integrate South Dakota’s workforce in two of the most powerful drivers of local, regional, national, and global economic development in the 21st century: healthcare and cyber."

According to the two organizations, the Cyberhealth Strategic Alliance will include:

  • Talent acquisition, development and retention -- student enrichment opportunities, cyber executive education to enhance the pipeline and attract world-class talent;
  • Collaborative research to drive operational excellence including creation of a state-of-the-art healthcare technology and cybersecurity operations center as a model for health care nationwide;
  • Health data research to uncover new patterns of clinical significance, including the use of artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and machine learning to advance the pace of healthcare innovations;
  • A Cyber Solutions Accelerator Lab, only the third in the nation, designed as a destination for testing and proving technology capabilities to solve real-world problems;
  • Incubation and support of early startup and technology innovation companies to improve healthcare delivery across the spectrum;
  • Exploration of a leading data science program focused on sports medicine and athletics for injury prevention and athletic performance.