Sanford Health announced Tuesday that its acquired a minority stake in Isar Klinikum, a hospital in Munich.
The decision adds to the not-for-profit system's growing international portfolio. Sanford Health also has financial stakes in several clinics in Ghana and manages a clinic in China.
International partnerships are "an opportunity to build relationships and for shared learning," said Dr. Dan Blue, executive director of Sanford Health's World Clinic. "We are seeking opportunities to not only impact healthcare in our region, but nationally and globally."
Blue also emphasized Sanford's international ventures aren't revenue-driven. "The purpose of this is not to harvest a bunch of patients or to get big profits or to fill our bank accounts ... if there are profits, our goal is to reinvest that in the country to impact the individual people there."
The financial terms of the deal with Isar Klinikum were not disclosed. Blue said it's in the "millions of dollars."
The 44-hospital system already had a relationship with Isar Klinikum before the deal. Sanford Health was drawn to the German hospital's innovative work in stem cell therapy, Blue said.
Since 2015, Sanford patients have traveled to Munich for Isar's stem cell therapies,which the Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved for use in the U.S. Additionally, Sanford has sent 11 physicians to learn Isar's stem cell therapy process, which has helped the system receive FDA-approval for its clinical trial that explores stem cell therapy.
As a stakeholder in Isar Klinikum, Sanford can "participate more intimately" in the hospital's work in regenerative medicine, Blue said.
In addition to its work in stem cell therapy, Isar Klinikum offers a wide range of other healthcare services including surgery.
Luke Lindberg, director of global operations at Sanford Health, said Isar Klinikum is a "highly regarded hospital system in Munich and there is a lot we can learn from them."