IT: The Place to Be

Not many people working today can remember what life was like in the professional world without computers and other technological devices. Likewise, not many could do their jobs without these modern necessities.

And not many could do it without their IT departments.

Chief Information Officer Caryn Hewitt, who has worked many different roles in a clinical setting (including as a nurse), says it’s helping employees perform their best every day, is what makes her excited about working in Information Technology at Sanford.

Once a nurse, always a nurse

Caryn started her career as a nurse, something she decided to do, despite the fact that her mother was a nurse and she didn’t really want to follow too closely in her footsteps. Fortunately, she did anyway.

“You never want to be what your mom is,” she jokes. “And I went many different venues, pre-med into education, but I always was drawn back to this love of patient care and taking care of people. And I found my niche in nursing.”

While Caryn spent many years at the bedside, she takes an equal amount of pride working desk-side these days.

“I don't really take care of direct patients, but I feel my job is so important and the job that we do in information technology to really support what we need to do for our people that take care of our patients at the bedside,” she says.

Great minds think together

Caryn attributes her professional success to the great minds she gets to work with every day at Sanford.

“What working at Sanford has afforded me, is working with the best and brightest minds coming together to really do what's right for our patients and our physicians,” she says. “We have a staff of 25,000 people that are coming together to make this organization real strong.”

Caryn understands that her job is an important one, especially in an organization that stays on top of the latest technological advances in medicine. She says Sanford in particular is a place for people who place great value on working together, from the operating room to the mail room.


Work at Sanford, no matter which position it entails, always seems to be different every day, offering new and exciting challenges around every corner. It’s something that energizes Caryn.

“What I love best about my job is that no day is the same, and I get to be working with all kinds of different people every single day. That may be staff-level people. It may be physicians, nurses. It may be executives,” she says. “It may be making decisions that seem very minute, and it may be making decisions about how we're building a brand new hospital. Every day is different.”

Family first

Of the five Sanford values that resonates the most with Caryn, she says family is the most important.

“In my interaction with everyone around here, these people are like your family. You've grown up with them for many, many years, and you know everything about their kids and what makes them tick, and you can work together a whole lot more strongly when you have that family-first attitude,” she says.

Like a strong family, Sanford also helped support Caryn through graduate school.

“Just over the past two years, I decided that I needed to go back and get my master's degree, so as of last December, I finished my MBA,” she says. “And so I'm a nurse with a MBA that is leading the IT department. There’s so many things that you can do here at Sanford.”

Global neighbor

From Sanford in Vermilion, SD to Sanford World Clinic in Ghana, Africa, Caryn is excited and proud to be a part of an organization that helps families and yet places great value on being a good steward of the community.

“As a member of the IT department, we get to play a hand in helping the most remote clinics do their daily business, making sure that we have technology and systems that are running their world clinics as well as those places locally,” she says.

The Wiz Kids

“Information technology and healthcare have a great marriage, and I liken it to IT is the nervous system for the health care organization,” Caryn says. “We wouldn't be functioning in health care the way we do with all the neat technology that we're offering our patients without an infrastructure backbone of IT.”

Caryn says there are many opportunities for IT professionals at Sanford, and to work within health care makes a particularly satisfying career.

“I call our team of people the Wiz Kids, that really can take the ideas from our clinicians and make that reality for our patients,” Caryn says.

Posted Date: August 2013

IT: The Place to Be

Caryn Hewitt, Chief Information Officer in Fargo. "As a member of the IT department, we get to play a hand in helping the most remote clinics do their daily business, making sure that we have technology and systems that are running their world clinics as well as those places locally."