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Dakota State University, Sanford Health commit to pioneering CyberHealth industry through new strategic alliance

Nov 18, 2020 11:04AM ● By MED Magazine

Dakota State University, a national leader in cyber education and research, and Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the county, are committing to a new initiative to create a national CyberHealth innovation hub. The strategic alliance will combine the unique strengths of the two organizations to expand the cyber workforce, spark innovations for health care delivery and drive economic development across the region.

Dakota State University is a national leader in cyber security, educating some of the most in-demand students for national security agencies and large tech companies around the world. Sanford Health’s robust investments in health care technology, research and innovation offer an ideal platform for the partnership.

The CyberHealth initiative will create a new pipeline of students to push for transformational programs where cyber knowhow crosses paths with health care.

“After meeting with Sanford Health, we were quick to realize we needed to find a way to bring the brilliance of our two organizations into one bright shining light of CyberHealth innovation, education, research and application,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University. “The result is the trailblazing initiative we have developed to do just that.”

The strategic alliance includes various aspects to bring CyberHealth to the forefront of the region, including: 

  • Student enrichment opportunities, cyber executive education and outreach programs to enhance the pipeline of cyber professionals while also attracting world-class cyber talent to the region.
  • Health data research initiatives, including the use of artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and machine learning, to advance the pace of health care innovations while giving patients better health outcomes.
  • Creation of a state-of-the-art health care technology and cyber security operations center to serve as a model for health care nationwide.
  • 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.
  • Development of a leading data science dedicated to sports medicine and athletics for injury prevention and athletic performance.
  • Support of technology innovation to improve healthcare delivery across the spectrum.

The strategic alliance is expected to generate a tremendous economic impact for the region by creating jobs, attracting capital and other resources and stimulating entrepreneurial activity.

“The future of exceptional healthcare lies in our ability to harness the power of cyber to help people get well and stay well,” said Josh Robinson, Sanford Health’s chief technology officer. “Technology supports everything we do in health care and this requires a constant connection to the brightest and best in cyber. This alliance will enable us to work with those at the leading edge of what’s happening in cyber now and into the future, to take care of people, physically, mentally, and emotionally, throughout their entire lives.”


“DSU students will have the unique opportunity to be part of that hands-on, real-world process, working side by side with faculty, researchers, and Sanford’s professionals, wrestling with problems and developing solutions,” added Griffiths.

“This partnership will enable Sanford and DSU to not only meet the demands of the future but also lead the way when it comes to health care innovation. South Dakota will become a national destination and center of excellence for health care cyber innovation,” added Robinson.