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Sioux Falls, South Dakota - Thanks to a new partnership, families spending time at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls can easily take a trip to the San Diego Zoo through a new television channel.

San Diego Zoo Kids, a television channel highlighting the exotic, endangered and mystical animals of San Diego Zoo Global, was unveiled today at Sanford Children’s.  San Diego Zoo Kids is made possible by a gift from businessman and philanthropist Denny Sanford.

“Again, we are grateful for this gift from Mr. Sanford,” said Paul Hanson, president Sanford USD Medical Center.  “This new partnership will help bring the joy of animals to our patients and their families. San Diego Zoo Kids is available in every patient and waiting room at Sanford Children’s and Sanford USD Medical Center. Offering quality care for our patients isn’t only about what our medical staff and healthcare professionals can do, it’s also about the experience the patients have while here.  Adding this channel is improving that experience, especially for some of our youngest patients. ”

The programming features a variety of animals from San Diego Zoo Global, plus footage from the Zoo’s popular Panda Cam, fun and educational pieces about a variety of animals and up-close video encounters of popular animals with the Zoo’s national spokesperson, Rick Schwartz.

“We have always believed in the importance of putting people in touch with animals as a way to conserve species.  What we have heard from medical care professionals is that animal interaction and animal stories can also help promote well-being,” said Doug Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global.

Patients and families at Sanford Children’s and Sanford USD Medical Center have enjoyed zoo-based programming since 2009 through a partnership with the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History in Sioux Falls.  San Diego Zoo Kids complements the 15-live-cameras from across the Great Plains Zoo providing patients a real-time look at the giraffes, rhinos, tigers, monkeys and more.

“Both of these channels can provide a break from reality for these families,” said Dr. Joseph Segeleon, chief medical officer at Sanford Children’s Hospital. “A hospital stay can be stressful, and the animal-based programming can be a welcome distraction.”

The exclusive San Diego Zoo Kids channel will eventually be available at five children’s hospitals across the nation.

About Sanford Health: Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly a billion dollars in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit

About San Diego Zoo Global: Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, San Diego Zoo Global, includes the work of the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy, onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.