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Sanford Bemidji Announces New President and Chief Operations Officer

Bemidji Dan Olson(Bemidji, MN) – Sanford Health announced today that Dan Olson, the current chief operations officer (COO) of Sanford Bemidji Clinics, has accepted the president position for the Sanford Bemidji region.  Olson will fill the position previously held by Paul Hanson, who became the new president at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD, this summer.

Olson holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.  Since 2009 he has directly overseen Sanford Bemidji Clinics. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles in clinics and hospitals in the upper Midwest.

“Dan is a seasoned leader with over 26 years of experience in health care administration and leadership,” said Nate White, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Sanford Health.  “His ability to strategically position Sanford Bemidji and to build partnerships, both internally and externally, will guide our organization into the future.”

Sanford also announced that Joy Johnson, the current COO of Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, has been promoted to COO for the Sanford Bemidji region, this includes Sanford Bemidji Clinics and the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.  This new position will further integrate operations and service lines in Bemidji. Bemidji Joy Johnson

Johnson came to Bemidji in 2010 as the vice president of operations and business development for North Country Health Services. Prior to that, she served as the vice president of planning and ancillary services for RiverView Health in Crookston, MN, and the vice president of marketing/corporate development for UniMed Medical Center in Minot, ND.  Joy is a graduate of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND.

“The search committee, which consisted of physicians, board members, community leaders and system leadership began work immediately to find Paul’s replacement, said Dr. Rod Will, committee chair.  “Dan and Joy both have remarkable talents.  As a team their expertise and experience in building relationships, health care services, and overall organizational growth were exactly what we were seeking.  They also have a strong history of working together both here in Bemidji and for other health care organizations during their tenure.”  

Both Olson and Johnson will begin their new positions on August 1, 2013.

About Sanford Bemidji
Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, inclusive of Sanford Bemidji, has more than 1,500 employees, 123 physicians/advanced practice providers and 143 acute care beds. Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota includes hospitals in Bemidji and Bagley and eight clinics with locations in Bagley, Baudette, Bemidji, Blackduck, Cass Lake, Clearbrook, Kelliher and Walker, Minnesota.   

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 eight states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 35 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 Denny Sanford's nearly $700 million in gifts, the largest ever to a health care organization in America. 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

Lindsey Wangberg
Marketing Director – Sanford Bemidji
(218) 407- 7516 /

Shannon Westhoff

Marketing Specialist – Sanford Bemidji
(218) 333- 5565 /