Sanford Health, hospital partner on gene sequencing project

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the country, is partnering with the flagship hospital of the Miami Children's Health System to sequence the genes of nearly 1,000 Latinos and Hispanics in order to better understand the health needs of the populations.

Philanthropist Denny Sanford and Sanford Health have given $7 million to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital initiative in Miami, Florida, to support the research, which uses genetic and to personalize care—in this case, for children.

Golfing great Jack Nicklaus, for whom the is named, said he recently approached his friend, Denny Sanford, and asked for help with the project.

"When we approached Denny with a plea to assist our important work at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and through our Foundation, he was quick to open his heart and lend a hand," Nicklaus said in a statement.

The sequencing project will make it easier to determine whether a person is predisposed to a certain disease, or how he or she might respond to a particular medicine. The initiative will help build a database of common genomes and identify genetic patterns among Hispanic and Latino populations.

MCHS is South Florida's only health care system exclusively for children and includes the nonprofit Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Sanford Health, which is the largest employer based in the Dakotas with 28,000 workers, has 45 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said the partnership will help Sanford diversify its work and research with genomic medicine.

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