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Sanford Health experts to present at Vatican conference

Apr 27, 2018 11:57AM ● By Alyssa McGinnis

Sanford Health physicians and leaders will be among the international experts presenting at the Fourth International Vatican Conference in Rome on April 26 - 28.

The conference, “Unite to Cure: “The Fourth International Vatican Conference – How Science, Technology and 21st Century Medicine Will Impact Culture and Society,” brings together leaders in health care, science and research from around the world as part of the Cura Foundation conference, which is held every other year in Rome. This is the second time Sanford Health has presented at the invite-only event. Robin Smith, M.D., president of the foundation, also serves on the Sanford International Board.

“We’re thrilled to bring together the world’s best scientists, doctors, ethicists and leaders of faith, business, government and philanthropy to this extraordinary global event at The Vatican,” Smith said. “It’s a Davos for health care, and over the course of three days, we will rally the world around a very simple idea — that tomorrow’s cures are just around the corner, and by uniting together and understanding the challenges that lie ahead, we can speed the delivery of cures and foster great hope for patients all over the world suffering from deadly diseases and dangerous medical conditions.”

The event is the continuation of a collaboration among The Cura Foundation, Stem for Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing global awareness of regenerative medicine and cell therapy, The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and its foundation, STOQ (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

Experts present on science, ethics, business and philanthropy.

The event discussions are moderated by renowned journalists such as Max Gomez, Ph.D., medical correspondent for CBS News; Sanjay Gupta, M.D., chief medical correspondent for CNN Health and Medical; Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., host of The Dr. Oz Show and professor of surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; and Meredith Vieira, journalist and talk show host.

The following experts from Sanford Health will present:     

  • Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, on the future of health care systems.
  • Steve Herrmann, Ph.D., director of program development for Profile by Sanford and assistant scientist with Sanford Research, on genetic testing and wellness.
  • David Pearce, Ph.D., executive vice president of Sanford Research, on genetic testing, wellness and how public-private partnerships can speed discovery.
  • Jill Weimer, Ph.D., senior director of therapeutic development and associate scientist at Sanford Research, on advancements in treating rare disease.
  • Jason Hurd, M.D., and Mark Lundeen, M.D., both of Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, on regenerative medicine and stem-cell research.
  • Micah Aberson, chief global brand officer at Sanford Health, on The Sanford Lorraine Cross Award.

“This event allows us to sit with our colleagues in health and science and look toward the future – what does that look like for our patients, the communities we serve and the world,” Krabbenhoft said. “We know innovation happens every day, and this is one area where we can come together to look at what that really means, on a global scale.”

Sanford Health last attended in 2016, when the organization received the Pontifical Key Innovation Award. The award recognizes game-changing medical innovation exemplified by transformative thinking, creativity and ingenuity used to deliver the highest quality of medical care.

To learn more about Unite To Cure: The Fourth International Vatican Conference, please visit: Or, you can follow the event on Twitter @CuraFdn and on Facebook at, and join the conversation with #UnitetoCure.