BEIJING, Feb. 5
(Xinhuanet) -- Billionaire T. Denny Sanford, chairman and CEO of United National
Corp. donated 400 million U.S. dollars to the South Dakota Sioux Valley
Hospitals & Health System, according to a New York Times' report.
"I am pleased to make a gift with
the potential to have a lasting, positive impact on the health and well-being of
children and adults in South Dakota and throughout the country," Sanford said in
The gift from Sanford marks the largest donation ever
given to a hospital, according to the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana
Sanford has been generous to the Sioux Valley Health
System before, helping fund a 2003 children's hospital project with a 16 million
This time he helped the hospital to transform the
facility into a major research institution for children's health, and the
institution will be renamed after him -- Sanford Health.
Sioux Valley Hospitals is South Dakota's largest
employer. Hospital officials hope the gift will attract more people to South
Dakota, which has been experiencing an economic boom since the 1990s.
Over 10 years, Sanford's donation is expected to
result in 9,200 jobs and 1 billion dollars in economic development. The money
will fund research, children's health initiatives, and medical education.
Sanford's net worth is roughly 2.5
billion dollars. He made his fortune as the owner of First Premier Bank,
and Premier Bankcard -- among the nation's leading credit card providers.
Sanford was ranked 49th on a Business Week magazine
list of the 50 most generous philanthropists in November. His biography states
that his "primary interest is in helping sick, disadvantaged, abused and/or