who we are

history

Service Area

From Hospital to Health Foundation

Since 1962, Dakota Medical Foundation has been connecting people and their life experiences to opportunities that improve the health of others.

Dakota Medical Foundation was formed in the 1960s by pioneering physicians and community leaders with the vision to build a progressive new hospital on Fargo’s growing south side. Initial tax exempt status was granted May 26, 1962.

A new $1.8 million Dakota Hospital opened two years later, with 76 beds and 11 physicians. It developed into a major referral center and became renowned for its kidney dialysis, joint replacement, open heart surgery and multiple other specialties. It was known, too, for its deeply dedicated physicians, high quality patient care, and pursuit of continual innovation.

Eventually, the hospital was sold to a for-profit organization and the proceeds began the $94 million DMF endowment with a mission to impact health in our region.

Since inception, DMF has invested over $100 million to operate health initiatives and fund strategies that strengthen the results of nearly 500 nonprofits in North Dakota and western Minnesota.

 

Dakota Medical Foundation:

A History

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Dakota Medical Foundation:

A History

1962

Dakota Medical Foundation formed to own and operate Dakota Hospital.

1962

1964

Dakota Hospital opens with more than 75 beds and roughly 10 doctors. 

1964

1980's

Dakota Hospital expands to 265 beds. 

1980's

1994

DMF sells half of hospital to for-profit company based in Houston.

1994

1998

Other half of hospital sold to same for-profit company, bringing DMF’s endowment to nearly $95 million. 

1998

2000

Pat Traynor is hired as DMF president. 

2000

2001

DMF matching begins. Charitable giving funds are established at the Foundation. 

2001

2005

With the support from the Alex Stern Family Foundation, DMF founds Impact Foundation to provide development, resources, and government-contract procurement assistance. 

2005

2007

New Impact website launches that allows nonprofits to receive online donations. 

Lend A Hand created to provide resources and match funds for volunteer-led benefits for families in medical crisis. 

DMF’s flagship event, Giving Hearts Day, launches and mobilizes area nonprofits to secure more than $475,000 in the 24-hour give-a-thon’s first year. 

2007

2012

Giving Hearts Day expands west, with 10 Bismarck organizations participating. 

Ground is broken for a new state-of-the-art, collaborative DMF building. 

2012

2015

New Giving Hearts Day website replaces manual distribution of donations to nearly 300 charities and funds. 

2015

2016

DMF founds Stand to Protect, uniting more than 25 area organizations in the fight to end child sexual abuse. 

2016

2017

Lend A Hand Up celebrates one decade and nearly $13.5 million raised for families over its lifetime. 

2017

2019

Giving Hearts Day 2019 marks the first time a charity raise $1 million during the generous 24-hour period and the first year the day eclipsed the 30,000 donor mark. 

Lend A Hand Up expands into the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. 

2019

2020

DMF launches a temporary giving platform called “Helping Hearts” to help charities through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2020

2021

DMF launches a digital version of its Child Sexual Abuse Prevention curriculum along with a Kids Mental Health initiative. 

2021