Fargo N.D. – Sanford Health-MeritCare and the University of North Dakota Foundation announce a $1.5 million gift to establish the Dr. Roger Gilbertson Endowed Chair of Neurology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Dr. Gilbertson is president emeritus of MeritCare Health System.
Endowed chairs provide an invaluable means to ensure academic excellence in teaching and research. The Dr. Roger Gilbertson Endowed Chair in Neurology will provide leadership in developing projects involving students in support of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences mission to discover knowledge that benefits the people of North Dakota and enhances the quality of life.
“This gift through the UND Foundation is a true testament of Sanford Health-MeritCare’s dedication to the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences and their interest in creating unique opportunities for students,” said Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president and CEO of UND Foundation. “The foresight and generosity of friends like Sanford Health-MeritCare is providing this university its margin of excellence. And in honoring Dr. Gilbertson in this fashion, there will also be permanent recognition of his commitment to quality medical education in North Dakota.”
Lauris Molbert, vice chair of the Sanford Health-MeritCare Board of Trustees commented, “The Board wanted to do something to honor and recognize Roger Gilbertson’s service to MeritCare that would be as lasting and significant as his contribution to health care throughout the region. This gift lifts up his leadership role as a physician, teacher and scientist.”
“Sanford Health-MeritCare has a broad vision and keen sense of the future because we stood on the shoulders of Roger Gilbertson in establishing it,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO. “This endowment gift exemplifies that vision and the person it honors.”
“Combining excellence in medicine, teaching and research is a hallmark of our organization. Supporting leadership in the further development of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences is an important way for us to see that is accomplished. This has been an integral part of the growth of MeritCare. And, such support matches Sanford’s efforts to expand the potential of the Sanford University of South Dakota School of Medicine.”
“Sanford Health-MeritCare has even greater potential to help set the bar involving innovation in clinical medicine, research and academics. Working together with the University of North Dakota and Sanford University of South Dakota medical schools, we can be a national model for the future training of physicians and health professionals,” said Krabbenhoft.
Dr. Gilbertson’s roots are deeply planted in medicine and specifically in the field of neurology. As a practicing neuroradiologist for 30 years and a former owner of a medical imaging company affiliated with The Neuropsychiatric Institute and Fargo Clinic, he was instrumental in establishing neuroradiology as a medical subspecialty in western Minnesota and North Dakota.
Dr. Gilbertson served as president and chief executive officer of MeritCare Health System for 17 years, from its beginning in 1993 until his retirement in 2009. His leadership fostered tremendous growth in size and capabilities and brought MeritCare to national prominence as an integrated health care system and as a national voice in health care reform and public policy. In November 2009, he set the stage for MeritCare’s ongoing success and growth with the merger of MeritCare and Sanford Health.
One of Dr. Gilbertson’s greatest accomplishments was firmly establishing the vision for coordinated health care in the region, starting with his key role in the merger of St. Luke’s Hospitals and Fargo Clinic, and the expansion of MeritCare’s regional network from a Fargo-based operation to a regional health care system.
As a community builder, Dr. Gilbertson freely shared his time and expertise with the Downtown Community Partnership, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Concordia College, Cass Fargo Economic Development, Renaissance Zone and many other organizations.