Dakota State University in Madison and Sanford Health announced an expansive alliance to pursue "cyberhealth."

The alliance is a long-term working relationship between the two institutions on issues involving health, wellness, information, education, management, research, security and more. With so many opportunities, the alliance is formed expecting to discover all sorts of ways to work together.

Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths told the Daily Leader about just a few ways DSU can help Sanford, thereby providing opportunities for DSU students, faculty and researchers along the way. She said there are opportunities across all four colleges within the university, as well as other departments across campus.

Health care in America is a huge industry and growing rapidly. The benefits of medical and technical advances are challenged by the rapidly rising costs. Information technology already dominates the industry (Sanford Health already has 700 IT professionals, and needs more), and privacy and security issues abound.

Universities set up partnerships or agreements with outsiders all the time, and some turn out well while others don't. Griffith is clearly focused on making sure this alliance is successful. "Our commitment to this strategic alliance is to explore and develop ...together," she said.

The announcement is clearly just the beginning of a long process of understanding how the two institutions can help each other. We're eager to see the progress of this long-term collaboration, which should help Madison as well.

-- Jon M. Hunter