Governance & Leadership

Meet Our Boards & Senior Leaders

Sanford Health leadership drives us to improve, to heal, and to cure. Three main teams make up our leadership:

  • Board of Trustees members are volunteers. This dedicated group of community leaders has strategic responsibility for activities affecting the entire organization and fulfillment of our mission across our system.
  • Executive Leadership members, as corporate officers of Sanford Health, are accountable to the Board of Trustees for fulfillment of the mission of our nonprofit organization.
  • International Board members are involved in the guidance, direction, oversight and promotion of Sanford's global efforts to improve the human condition, which includes the oversight of Sanford World Clinic. The team is accountable to the Board of Trustees for fulfillment of the mission of our nonprofit organization.

Board of Trustees

Brent Teiken
Brent Teiken

Chair
Sales General Manager, Perficient
Fargo, ND

Donald “Jake“ Jacobs
Donald "Jake" Jacobs

Vice Chair
Market Manager/VP, Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD

Neil Gulsvig
Neil Gulsvig

Treasurer
Co-Founder/President & CEO, Align
CEO & Founder, ActivLife Solutions
Wausau, WI

Neil Gulsvig
Andy North

Secretary
Former Professional Golfer
Madison, WI

Mark Paulson
Mark Paulson, MD

Past Chair
Perham Health Clinic
Perham, MN

Bill Gassen President & Chief Executive
Bill Gassen

Ex-Officio
Sanford Health
President & CEO

Lauris Molbert

Retired CEO, TMI Hospitality, Inc.
Fargo, ND

Robin Smith, MD

President and Chair, Stem for Life Foundation
New York, NY

Wes Engbrecht

Director of communications, PR and IT
Capital Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Bismarck, ND

Maria Bell, MD
Maria Bell, MD

Sanford Cancer Center
Sioux Falls, SD

Jim Cain
Jim Cain

KeyBanc Capital Markets
Larchmont, NY

Barbara M. Everist
Barbara M. Everist

Former South Dakota Senator
Sioux Falls, SD

Mark Lundeen, MD
Mark Lundeen, MD

Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Fargo, ND

 

 

Leadership

Bill Gassen, President & Chief Executive Officer

Bill Gassen President & Chief Executive As president and chief executive officer, Bill Gassen is leading efforts to tackle some of medicine’s most challenging issues, including the state of global health, breast cancer, pediatric rare diseases and type 1 diabetes. At the same time, the organization is also advancing health care through its innovative integration of genomics into primary care, the creation of an expansive biobank and the exploration of the healing powers of immunotherapy and adipose stem cells.

Gassen began his career at Sanford Health in 2012 as corporate counsel and transitioned to the human resources department two years later as vice president of human resource integration and eventually became the chief human resources officer. In 2019, he was promoted to chief administrative officer with oversight of human resources, technology solutions, legal, facilities, business development and the Sanford Sports Complex.

Prior to joining Sanford Health, Gassen spent several years in private legal practice. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a law degree, both from the University of South Dakota.

Gassen and his wife, Jill, have five children.

Micah Aberson, Executive Vice President

Micah Aberson Sanford Health Executive Vice PresidentMicah Aberson, executive vice president, oversees the planning, development and execution of Sanford Health’s strategic marketing initiatives. Additionally, he has corporate oversight of the Sanford Health Foundation, Profile by Sanford, Sanford Research, Sanford World Clinic and public policy.

Aberson works closely with the Sanford International Board as the organization’s global footprint continues to expand through new partnerships in different countries and bold initiatives like the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award. He also serves as the chair of the Sanford International PGA Tournament Champions board.

The Sioux Falls native joined Sanford Health in 2015 as executive vice president of the Sanford Health Foundation where he directed fundraising, endowment management and special programs such as the Children’s Miracle Network.

Aberson is a graduate of Augustana University and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls.

He and his wife, Jaclyn, have two daughters.

Matt Hocks, Chief Operating Officer

Matt Hocks Sanford Health Chief Operating OfficerHocks serves as Sanford Health’s chief operating officer and is responsible for the successful planning and implementation of operational and strategic goals.

Hocks graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2002 with a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in health services administration. He joined Sanford Health in 2004 and held various clinic director and vice president positions before assuming his current role in 2019.

Hocks and his wife, Rachel, live in Sioux Falls and have three children.

Nathan Peterson, Chief of Staff

Nathan Peterson Chief of Staff and the Vice President of Strategic Planning and GovernanceNathan Peterson serves as chief of staff to Sanford Health President and CEO Bill Gassen. He is responsible for coordinating the system’s agenda and oversees communication from the CEO’s office.

Peterson began his career at Sanford Health in 2010 and has held multiple positions, including director of legislative affairs and enterprise vice president of marketing. Prior to joining Sanford Health, he was the managing director of a national political consulting and issues management firm based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A retired member of the South Dakota Air National Guard who served in the military for more than 20 years, Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of South Dakota.

Peterson and his wife, Megan, have three children.

Randy Bury, President & CEO, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

Randy Bury President and CEO of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan SocietyAs The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society president and CEO, Randy Bury is responsible for the successful planning and implementation of operational, strategic and financial goals for Sanford Health’s senior care services division. Bury, who is a member of Sanford Health’s corporate leadership team, also works with the Society’s board of directors and manages all Society senior-level executive leaders.

Bury became president of the Society in 2019 after logging 37 years of executive leadership experience with Sanford Health. At the corporate level, he most recently served as the organization’s chief administrative officer and previously held the role of senior vice president of health services administration. While at Sanford USD Medical Center, Bury was chief operating officer, chief administrative officer, executive vice president and vice president of patient services.

A graduate of Augustana University with a degree in health care administration, Bury also holds a Master of Business Administration in health care administration from California Pacific University.

In 2020, Bury was elected to the board of governors for the American Health Care Association, the nation’s largest association of long-term and post-acute care providers. He is a past president of the South Dakota chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a past board member of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. He has served on several local boards, most recently the Sioux Empire United Way Board of Directors and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Bury and his wife, Sonia, have two sons.

Jeremy Cauwels, Chief Physician

Jeremy Cauwels, MD Chief Physician of Sanford Health Jeremy Cauwels, MD, serves as chief physician for Sanford Health and is responsible for clinical and administrative leadership for the organization’s physicians. He also chairs the quality cabinet, working with its members to achieve high-quality, low-cost care across the Sanford Health footprint.

A hospitalist by training, Cauwels been with Sanford Health for 14 years, since the time he completed his residency. During his tenure with the organization, he has served as Sanford USD Medical Center’s hospitalist group director and chief of staff and held membership and leadership positions on numerous committees and professional organizations related to internal medicine and quality. Most recently, he held dual roles as senior vice president of clinic quality for Sanford Health and vice president and medical officer for Sanford Health Plan.

Cauwels completed his undergraduate work at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, receiving degrees in chemistry and biology. He then attended medical school at the University of Iowa and completed his residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

A native of Viborg, South Dakota, Cauwels and his wife, Teresa, live in Sioux Falls with their three children.

Erica C. DeBoer, Chief Nursing Officer

Erica C. DeBoer, RN, Sanford Health's chief nursing officerErica C. DeBoer, RN, Sanford Health’s chief nursing officer, leads the organization’s professional nursing practice. Her oversight of enterprise services includes care management, clinical informatics, patient experience, clinical standardization, telehealth and air medical operations.

DeBoer has spent her entire career with Sanford Health, beginning in 1996 as a nurse assistant for Sioux Valley Hospital. Since then, she has held various positions as a nurse and clinical leader. Most recently, she served as senior executive director of nursing and clinical services and clinical informatics. In her roles as a nurse and nurse leader, DeBoer has received numerous recognitions from Sanford Health as well as other organizations, among them Sanford Health’s Nurse of the Year and Birkeland Clinical Innovation Employee of the Year and South Dakota State University’s Leadership in Clinical Practice Award.

DeBoer holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from South Dakota State University and a master’s in nursing from Augustana University, focused on nurse leadership. She also has served as an adjunct faculty member at SDSU and the University of Sioux Falls, teaching in their nursing and nurse leader programs.

Residing in nearby Lennox, DeBoer and her husband, Shane, to whom she’s been married for over 20 years, is a third-grade teacher. They have two children, Dominic (15) and Summer (11).

Luis Garcia, MD, President, Sanford Clinic

Luis Garcia MD President of Sanford ClinicLuis Garcia, MD, serves as the president of Sanford Health’s clinic division, overseeing governance, mergers and acquisitions, and overall clinic integration.

Garcia has been with Sanford Health in Fargo since 2002 (when it was MeritCare) and is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries. He was born and raised in Mexico City, where he also attended medical school at LaSalle University. Garcia completed his general surgery residency at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and did a mini-fellowship in bariatric surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also holds a Health Care Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

Garcia and his wife, Greta, have four children.

Jennifer Grennan, JD, Chief Legal Officer

Jennifer Grennan Sanford Health Chief Legal OfficerAs Sanford Health’s chief legal officer, Jennifer Grennan is responsible for legal, compliance and enterprise risk management. She joined Sanford Health in 2009 and has held multiple positions in the organization’s legal department, including vice president of legal.

Grennan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a juris doctor from the Creighton University School of Law.

Grennan is a Sioux Falls native and is married to David.

Paul Hanson, President & CEO, Sanford Sioux Falls

Paul Hanson President and CEO of Sanford Sioux FallsAs president and CEO of Sanford Sioux Falls, Paul Hanson leads Sanford Health’s Sioux Falls market and network operations for facilities in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. He also works closely with enterprise resources to coordinate corporate initiatives with local operational priorities.

Hanson began his career with Sanford Health at a managed facility in Watertown, South Dakota, in 2000. In 2011, he coordinated Sanford Health’s merger with North Country Health Services in Bemidji, Minnesota. He served as the president of Sanford Bemidji from the time of the merger through 2013 and before being named president of Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

A graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, Hanson graduated with double majors in business administration with an emphasis in hospital administration and social work with an emphasis in long-term care administration. Hanson also holds a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Colorado.

Hanson has received the American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s Award for Outstanding Healthcare Executive and is also a fellow in that organization.

Hanson currently serves on the boards of South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the State of South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota Discovery District, Forward Sioux Falls Economic Development and the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club. He is also a member of special task forces associated with local economic development and Augustana University.

Hanson and his wife, Paige, have four children and two grandchildren.

Susan Jarvis, President & CEO, Sanford Bemidji

Susan Jarvis President and CEO Sanford BemidjiSusan Jarvis, president and CEO of Sanford Bemidji, oversees Sanford Health’s Bemidji market in northern Minnesota.

Jarvis has held several executive leadership roles since joining Sanford Health in 2010. Prior to her promotion to the top post in Bemidji, she served as Sanford Fargo’s vice president of operations, helping open that region’s new $500 million medical center in 2017. Jarvis began her tenure with the organization as Fargo’s executive director of emergency and trauma services where she the led her facility to Level I Trauma designation.

Prior to Sanford Health, Jarvis was the administrative director of emergency services for Mission Hospitals and Health System in Asheville, North Carolina.

Jarvis holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Saint Francis and a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix.

She and her husband, Ed, live in Bemidji and have two grown daughters.

Michael LeBeau, MD, President & CEO, Sanford Bismarck

Michael LeBeau, MD President and CEO of Sanford BismarckMichael LeBeau, MD, serves as president and CEO of Sanford Health’s Bismarck region, where he oversees health services and is responsible for the successful planning and implementation of operational and strategic goals.

LeBeau has been with Sanford Health for more than 10 years and started with the organization as a nephrologist. Prior to his current role, he served on the Sanford Health Board of Trustees and as vice president of clinics.

A graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, LeBeau completed his residency in internal medicine at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wis. He also completed a nephrology fellowship at the University of Iowa and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He currently serves on the University of North Dakota Foundation Board of Directors and Bismarck State College Foundation Board.

LeBeau and his wife, Michelle, have five children.

Kent Lehr, Chief of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships

Kent Lehr Chief of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Kent Lehr, chief of business development and strategic partnerships, oversees Sanford Health’s business development strategy, growth initiatives, innovative partnerships and commercialization efforts.

Lehr joined Sanford Health in 2020 after a decade-long career with UnityPoint Health, where he started as an administrative fellow before holding several leadership positions in strategic growth and business development. He most recently served as UnityPoint Health’s vice president of strategy and business development.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Lehr holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Cornell College (Iowa) and a Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration from the University of Iowa.

Bill Marlette, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Bill Marlette Chief Financial Officer and TreasurerAs Chief Financial officer & Treasurer, Bill Marlette is responsible for Sanford Health's financial strategy and operations, investments and asset management..

Marlette joined Sanford USD Medical Center in 1989 as director of finance. He was named vice president of finance in 1997, CFO in 2004 and treasurer in 2009. Marlette became CFO and treasurer in 2020.

Prior to joining Sanford Health, Marlette worked in public accounting, specializing in health care and not-for-profits. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and is a certified public accountant.

Marlette and his wife, Jan, have three children.

Bryan Nermoe, President & CEO, Sanford Fargo

Bryan Nermoe President and CEO of Sanford FargoAs president and CEO of Sanford Fargo, Bryan Nermoe is responsible for the management and operations of the Fargo market for Sanford Health.

Nermoe has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry as a leader in multi-specialty group practice, integrated health systems strategy, planning, development and operations. He joined Sanford Health in 2008 and has held the roles of chief operating officer for Sanford Clinic’s Sioux Falls region, enterprise vice president of population health strategy and enterprise services and president of Sanford Bemidji. He became president of Sanford Fargo in 2019.

Nermoe has a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He and his wife, Katie, have two children.

David A. Pearce, PhD, President, Innovation, Research and Sanford World Clinic

David Pearce, PhD, President of Innovation, Research and Sanford World ClinicSanford Health’s president of innovation, research and Sanford World Clinic, David A. Pearce, PhD, oversees the organization’s research activities and global clinic initiative. He is responsible for 450 researchers, eight research centers, more than 300 ongoing clinical trials and the commercialization of select research strategies. Pearce also leads Sanford World Clinic and manages Sanford Health’s international relationships.

Pearce heads the leading lab studying juvenile Batten disease, and his research has led to the first clinical trial for children with this disease. He also manages a national registry for rare diseases known as the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford, or CoRDS.

Pearce completed his bachelor’s degree with honors in biological sciences at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. He holds a doctorate from the University of Bath and did postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester and Oxford University.

He and his wife, Suzanne, have three children.

Josh Robinson, Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer

Josh Robinson Sanford Health Chief Innovation OfficerJosh Robinson serves as the chief information officer for Sanford Health. In this role, he provides technology strategy, vision and leadership in the development, operations and continuous improvement of all organizational information technology functions. This includes applications, development, implementation, technology services and infrastructure, revenue cycle management, medical research, health plan and IT business management.

Prior to joining Sanford Health’s accounting team in 2011, Robinson spent four years at BioScrip, most recently as the financial lead supporting corporate services and retail pharmacy operations. He began his career at Target Corporation supporting the information technology organization as part of the financial planning and analysis team. He was responsible for the annual budget and forecast processes and capital project analysis for a portfolio of more than $1 billion in annual spend.

Robinson received a Bachelor of Arts in business management from Saint John’s University (Minnesota) and a Master of Business Administration from The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota.

He and his wife, Kristen, have four children.

David Shulkin, MD, Strategic Advisor

David Shulkin, MD, Sanford Health Strategic AdvisorFormer Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, MD, offers his expertise in health care, government, technology and public health as a strategic advisor to Sanford Health.

Shulkin is also a director on the Sanford International Board and serves as an ambassador for Sanford Health for its many domestic and international projects.

Prior to serving as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Shulkin was the leader of the largest integrated health care system in the United States as the VA’s Under Secretary of Health. He has also served in CEO roles for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Shulkin received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and is a board-certified internist. He completed an internship at Yale University School of Medicine and a residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center.

Kimber Severson, Chief Marketing Officer

Kimber Severson Sanford Health Chief Marketing OfficerAs chief marketing officer for Sanford Health, Kimber Severson is responsible for developing and managing the organization’s brand strategy while positioning Sanford as the market leader and best place to work. She oversees all marketing, communications and media relations for the enterprise by leading a talented team focused on finding creative ways to share the Sanford story.

A veteran in the sales and marketing world, Severson has nearly 20 years of experience in leadership roles in the non-profit, advertising, health IT and health care sectors. Because creating a thriving culture is important to her, she builds and challenges her teams to stretch their creative muscles with encouragement not to settle for the status quo.

Kimber holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s in organizational communication, both from the University of South Dakota.

Passionate about her community, Kimber frequently volunteers to work with organizations and initiatives to make Sioux Falls, South Dakota a great place to live, work and raise a family. She and her husband, Aaron, are the proud parents of two children.

John Snyder, President, Sanford Health Plan

John Snyder, President of Sanford Health PlanJohn Snyder, president of Sanford Health Plan, oversees all aspects of Sanford Health’s insurance arm, which serves members in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota. He develops managed-care products, payment models and integrated service-delivery strategies.

Snyder has more than 40 years of experience in health care. Before assuming duties as Sanford Health Plan’s top leader, he held dual roles as president and CEO of Health Alliance Medical Plans and executive vice president/system chief operating officer of Carle Health System. Snyder worked for Carle Health System for more than three decades in a variety of leadership positions in pharmacy, operations and health plan administration.

A native of Tennessee, Snyder holds a pharmacy degree from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and a Master of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University. He also completed an executive fellowship program through Northwestern University’s Kellogg Executive Program.

Bobbie Tibbetts, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Bobbie Tibbets, President of Sanford Health FoundationBobbie Tibbetts, chief philanthropy officer, leads Sanford Health's fundraising arm, overseeing all fundraising strategies and donor stewardship carried out to support the philanthropic mission of the organization.

Tibbetts began with the Foundation in an entry-level position as a major gifts officer for the Edith Sanford Breast Initiative and held various leadership positions before ascending to vice president. Prior to joining Sanford Health, she worked in human resources for First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard.

A native of Pierce, Nebraska, Tibbetts graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Tibbetts and her husband, Luke, live in Sioux Falls with their son, Will, and daughter, Ryan.

Darren Walker, Chief Human Resources Officer

Darren Walker Sanford Health Chief Human Resources OfficerDarren Walker, chief human resources officer for Sanford Health, leads and has strategic oversight for the organization’s people and human resource initiatives. He supports Sanford Health’s mission and strategic goals utilizing proven and sophisticated approaches to learning and talent innovations, culture and diversity management, leadership strategy and talent acquisition to drive results and create an extraordinary employee experience.

Walker also has extensive experience in organizational and leadership effectiveness. He is an expert leadership coach and facilitator. He has vast experience growing leaders and executives through curriculum from Franklin Covey, Vital Smarts, Partners in Leadership, Studer Group and the John Maxwell Team.

Walker joined Sanford Health in 2016 as vice president of human resources. He has over two decades of experience in the health care industry and before joining Sanford Health has worked at SCL Health, Providence Health and Intermountain Healthcare in a variety of human resources leadership roles.

Walker earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Utah and his master’s degree in organization management from the University of Phoenix in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Darren and his wife, Tiffany, are the proud parents of three children.

Steve Young, President, Sanford Sports

 Steve Young President of Sanford SportsSteve Young, president of Sanford Sports, oversees Sanford Health’s expanding portfolio of services and facilities designed to develop and better understand today’s athlete through health services, training programs and research.

Sanford Sports includes the Sanford Sports Complex, Sanford POWER training, Sanford POWER academies, Sanford POWER Physical Therapy and the Sanford Sports Science Institute.

Young re-joined Sanford Health in 2017 as senior executive director of the system’s orthopedics and sports medicine service line. A physical therapist by trade, he practiced with Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine from 2009 to 2013. Outside of Sanford Health, Young has held various leadership and physical therapy roles at clinics in Sioux Falls and Illinois.

A native of Custer, South Dakota, Young received his bachelor’s and Master of Physical Therapy degrees from the University of South Dakota. He is also fellowship trained through the Gray Institute and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Young and his wife, Tara, have four children.

International Board

Cindy Rarick
Cindy Rarick

Chair
Professional LPGA Legends Tour golfer and entrepreneur

Manny Ohonme
Manny Ohonme

Vice Chair
Founder of Samaritan’s Feet

Miles Beacom
Miles Beacom

Board Member
President and CEO of PREMIER Bankcard

Gary Hall, Jr.
Gary Hall, Jr.

Board Member
Olympic Hall of Fame Swimmer, Patient Advocate, CEO, Hallway Consulting

Bill Gassen President & Chief Executive
Bill Gassen

Board Member
President and CEO of Sanford Health

Barbara Nicklaus
Barbara Nicklaus

Board Member
Chairman and Co-Founder of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation

Kirk Penney
Kirk Penney

Board Member
Retired Shooting guard for the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League

Dr. Robin Smith
Robin Smith, MD, MBA

Board Member
President and Chairman of the Stem for Life Foundation

David Shulkin
David Shulkin

Board Member
Former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Bernhard Langer

Board Member
World Golf Hall of Fame member and two-time Masters champion with 113 worldwide victories.