Meet Our Boards & Senior Leaders
Sanford Health leadership drives us to improve, to heal and to cure. Two 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.
Board of Trustees
Co-Founder/President & CEO, Align
CEO & Founder, ActivLife Solutions
Retired CEO, TMI Hospitality, Inc.
Former Professional Golfer
General Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Perficient
President & CEO
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Director of communications, PR and IT
Capital Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Chief Banking Officer
Security First Bank
Rapid City, SD
Donald "Jake" Jacobs
Donald "Jake" Jacobs
Market Manager/VP, Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
Mark Lundeen, MD
Mark Lundeen, MD
Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Bill Gassen, President & Chief Executive Officer
Bill Gassen is president and CEO of Sanford Health, a $7.1 billion integrated health system serving communities across the upper Midwest.
Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sanford Health is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America’s heartland.
Bill marked his appointment to president and CEO of Sanford Health in November 2020 by committing the organization to three pillars: patients, people and communities. This focus has positioned the system to shape the future of health care for generations to come.
In 2022, Bill announced that Sanford Health’s strategic position and aspirational goal is to be the premier rural health system in the United States, with a commitment to ensuring the quality of care a person receives is not limited by their zip code.
The organization serves more than one million patients and 201,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 46 medical centers, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, 186 Good Samaritan Society senior living centers and world clinics in nine countries around the globe.
Sanford Health is the largest employer in the Dakotas. In 2020, the organization contributed nearly $12 billion to the region’s economy.
Bill is presiding over transformational growth: In 2021, the health system unveiled a $350 million virtual care initiative to improve access to convenient, high-quality care for rural, underserved communities. That same year, Sanford Health announced plans to add eight new graduate medical residencies and fellowships in specialty areas, for a total of 15 programs, to build the next generation of rural health care providers.
In 2022, Bill was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. This prestigious recognition honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be the most influential figures in the industry in terms of leadership and impact.
Bill is a former healthcare litigator and current member of the State Bar of South Dakota. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a law degree, both from the University of South Dakota. He previously served in a number of leadership roles for Sanford Health over a ten- year period including chief administrative officer, corporate counsel and chief human resources officer.
He is a member of the Health Systems Council of the American Hospital Association and serves on the Board of Directors for Oscar Health as well as Healthcare Institute.
Bill comes from a family dedicated to public service. His mother spent four decades as a hospital nurse. His father served in the Air Force, and Bill was born on a military base in Little Rock, Arkansas, but spent most of his childhood growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota. Bill’s father played a key role in the development of Feeding South Dakota, the state’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization, and served as CEO for more than 20 years.
Bill and his wife, Jill, a physician’s assistant for the Veterans Administration, have five children ranging in ages from 4 to 13 years old and live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Bill Marlette, Interim Chief Financial Officer
As interim chief financial officer, 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.
Jennifer Grennan, JD, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer
As officer, Jennifer Grennan, JD, is responsible for human resources, legal, risk, compliance and government affairs. She joined Sanford Health in 2009 and has held multiple positions in the organization’s legal department, including chief legal officer and vice president of legal.
Grennan, a Sioux Falls native, 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 lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, David.
Matt Hocks, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Matt Hocks, Sanford Health’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, 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, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy and Development Officer
Nathan Peterson serves as Sanford Health’s executive vice president and chief strategy and development officer, responsible for the system’s enterprise data and analytics, digital strategy, marketing, corporate communications, strategic planning, enterprise project management and governance. He also oversees Sanford Health Plan and the Sanford Health Foundation.
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.
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. He currently serves on the boards of the University of South Dakota Foundation and the Promising Futures Fund. Peterson and his wife, Megan, live in Sioux Falls with their three children.
Jared Antczak, Chief Digital Officer
Jared Antczak serves as Sanford Health’s chief digital officer, overseeing digital strategy and transformation initiatives to enhance consumer and caregiver engagement, support care delivery, improve business processes and expand health care access through virtual care.
Antczak joined Sanford Health in 2022 after serving in leadership positions at Highmark Health, Intermountain Healthcare and Atrium Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brigham Young University-Idaho and an MBA from Wake Forest University, in addition to a product executive certification (PEC) and an information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) certification. He is also a certified professional in healthcare information and management systems (CPHIMS).
Originally from around Salt Lake City, Utah, Antczak lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Charlene, and their six children.
Corey Brown, Vice President Government Affairs
Corey Brown, vice president of government affairs for Sanford Health, oversees the organization’s public policy activities at the state and federal levels.
A former South Dakota state senator and native of Gettysburg, Brown represented District 23 from 2009 to 2016, serving as majority leader, president pro tempore, assistant majority leader and chairman of the appropriations committee. He was actively involved in shaping policy related to Native American health, primary care, emergency medical services and medical licensing.
Brown joined Sanford Health in 2018 after working with his family owned insurance agency and serving as executive director of the Gettysburg/Whitlock Bay Development Corporation. He also spent a decade in the United States Navy, where he was an aviator and flight instructor and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander.
Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in international business from the University of San Diego.
He lives in Sioux Fall with his wife, Karen, and their four children.
Jeremy Cauwels, MD, Chief Physician
Jeremy Cauwels, MD, FACP, FHM, serves as Sanford Health’s chief physician. In this role, he represents physician interests to the executive leadership team and Board of Trustees. He also chairs the quality cabinet, champions the system’s effort to become a highly reliable organization and oversees enterprise aspects of the medical staff.
Prior to his appointment to chief physician in 2021, Dr. Cauwels led safety, quality and patient experience as senior vice president of quality. He also served as vice president and chief medical officer for Sanford Health Plan. Cauwels started with Sanford Health as a hospitalist in Sioux Falls in 2006, was promoted to director of the group and eventually became Sanford USD Medical Center’s chief of staff.
His extensive leadership background in quality and safety make Dr. Cauwels a strong champion for the organization’s SAFE program (Sanford Accountability for Excellence), a collective commitment to safety and reliability. The program guides Sanford employees toward doing the right thing every time in every interaction, and encourages both employees and patients to speak up for safety. Dr. Cauwels ensures that the SAFE program has the operational, financial and leadership support necessary for this work.
Dr. Cauwels is also interested in healthcare disparities and improving access to quality care, particularly in rural geographies and in the area of mental health. He believes that every person deserves access to the right care at the right time in the place they need it, and this view was a powerful influence in developing Sanford Health’s drive to become the premier rural health system in the United States.
Born in South Dakota and raised in northwest Iowa, Dr. Cauwels has bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Northern Iowa and a medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He completed his residency and a chief resident year at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas. Cauwels is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine.
Cauwels and his wife, Teresa, live in Sioux Falls with their three children.
Erica C. DeBoer, Chief Nursing Officer
Erica DeBoer, RN, MA, CCRN-K, CNL, serves as Sanford Health’s chief nursing officer. A member of the organization’s executive leadership team, DeBoer provides clinical expertise for Sanford Health’s work in quality, safety, research and care management. She also oversees the integration of clinical initiatives.
DeBoer has more than 20 years of experience as a front-line registered nurse, including roles in critical care, clinical leadership and education. She most recently served as Sanford Health’s senior executive director of nursing and clinical services and clinical informatics. DeBoer has also served as adjunct faculty for nursing programs at South Dakota State University and the University of Sioux Falls.
The Sanford Health nursing practice DeBoer oversees is the largest division of the enterprise workforce supporting patient and resident care, including nearly 9,000 nurses across the post-acute, ambulatory and inpatient settings. She believes nurses are a critical part of the fabric binding the many facets of health care work together to achieve safe, high-quality care that exceeds patient expectations.
DeBoer is particularly interested in the link between patient experience and employee experience, knowing that changes in one sphere often directly drive improvements in the other. She sponsors a variety of initiatives in both areas at Sanford, including the use of predictive analytics to inform care and plan workforce needs; leveraging technology to automate non-value-added work so teams can focus on patient care; reducing clinical variations in care; and improving health equity and reducing the barriers patients face in accessing care. DeBoer says nurses are an incredibly flexible, innovative resource in these efforts and are essential to meeting the needs of our patients and communities.
Active in several professional associations, DeBoer holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from South Dakota State University and a master’s degree in nursing from Augustana University.
DeBoer resides in Lennox, South Dakota, with her husband, Shane, and their two children.
Luis Garcia, MD, President, Sanford Clinic and Sanford World Clinic
Luis Garcia, MD, FACS, MBA, FASMBS serves as the President of Sanford Health’s Clinic division, overseeing governance, recruitment and retention, well-being and development, and overall clinic integration for physicians and advanced practice providers. Garcia also leads Sanford World Clinic and manages Sanford Health’s international relationships.
Dr. Garcia has been with Sanford Health since 2002 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).
Dr. Garcia brings extensive clinical and research experience to his leadership position at Sanford, giving him a deep understanding of and connection to the clinicians he oversees. He is particularly interested in clinician well-being, workforce challenges , and related topics; and he has spearheaded a number of initiatives to strengthen Sanford’s clinician culture and support. He has established the Office of Clinician Experience, responsible for clinician engagement, resiliency, well-being, and leadership development; developed comprehensive strategies to address onboarding, compliance, compensation, and governance; and influenced enterprise-wide strategies on DE&I, practice standardization, and strategic vision.
Dr. Garcia is also a strong advocate for Sanford Health in shaping health care policy and serves on several prominent industry boards and committees, including the International Esperanza Project, the American Medical Group Association, and the Morrison Family College of Health.
Garcia and his wife, Greta, have four children.
Paul Hanson, President & CEO, Sanford Sioux Falls
As 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.
Karla Eischens, President & CEO, Sanford Bemidji
Karla Eischens, RPh, President and CEO of Sanford Bemidji, oversees Sanford Health’s Bemidji market in northern Minnesota.
With over 25 years of experience in health care, Eischens has held several frontline and leadership roles in Bemidji since joining Sanford Health in 2000. Prior to her promotion to the top post in Bemidji, she served as Sanford Bemidji’s vice president of operations, helping open that region’s first crisis center, featuring an inpatient psychiatry unit and an innovative Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Treatment and Healing (EmPATH) unit to provide 24/7 crisis services close to home for children, families and adults. As vice president, she also oversaw COVID-19 operations during the pandemic as well as expansions of the intensive care unit and services in the Park Rapids area.
Eischens began her tenure within Sanford Health’s pharmacy department in Bemidji as a pharmacist and later the director of pharmacy. As director, she oversaw the development of the home infusion pharmacy within the Joe Lueken Cancer Center, the opening of the Sanford Blackduck Pharmacy and the expansion of the regional 340B drug pricing program enabling Sanford Health to reach more patients in need. Eischens was promoted to executive director of operations in 2019 where she oversaw multiple service lines and facilities, including women’s, children’s, pharmacy and the Joe Lueken Cancer Center.
Prior to Sanford Health, Eischens began her career in health care working at the Veteran’s Administration Center. After earning her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, she worked in several positions in retail, infusion and inpatient pharmacy as well as operations management for Progressive Health Care.
She and her husband have raised their family in northern Minnesota and are proud to have made Bemidji their home.
Michael LeBeau, MD, System Vice President, Chief of Health Services Operations
Michael LeBeau, MD, serves as Sanford Health’s system vice president and chief of health services operations.
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,as vice president of clinics, and as president and CEO of the Bismarck region.
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.
Deb Koski, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Deb Koski serves as Sanford Health’s chief philanthropy officer, overseeing all philanthropic strategies and initiatives across Sanford’s system of care, including the Good Samaritan Society.
Koski joined the Sanford Health Foundation in 2004 and most recently served as system executive director for the foundation. She has led teams responsible for every aspect of fundraising, including planned, major and annual giving; donor stewardship; volunteer management; special events; finance; data analytics; gift processing and marketing.
Koski holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University of South Dakota and a certification in healthcare fundraising management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; she has also achieved the professional designation of certified fundraising executive (CFRE), and is a dedicated volunteer in her community.
Koski and her husband, Sheldon, live in Sioux Falls, S.D. They have two teenage sons, Preston and Keaton.
Tiffany Lawrence, President and CEO, Sanford Fargo
As president and CEO of Sanford Fargo, Tiffany is responsible for the management and operations of the Fargo market for Sanford Health.
Lawrence began her career working at Dakota Hospital in Fargo as a staff accountant. In 1996, she began working for MeritCare in a finance operational role. After a few years, she was promoted to a management position. Right before MeritCare merged with Sanford Health in 2009, Lawrence became the chief financial officer of the Fargo Broadway hospital. In 2015, she became vice president of finance and began overseeing both the hospital and clinics in Fargo. From 2017 to March 2022, Lawrence oversaw finance for the entire Fargo region. As of March 4, 2022, Lawrence now serves as the interim president and CEO of Sanford Fargo.
Lawrence graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She and her husband, Rick, have three sons. She spends her weekends busy watching her children play sports and in the summer, Lawrence enjoys spending time at the lakes with family.
David A. Pearce, PhD, President, Research and Innovation
As Sanford Health’s president of research and innovation, David A. Pearce, PhD, oversees the organization’s research activities. He is responsible for 450 researchers, eight research centers, more than 300 ongoing clinical trials and the commercialization of select research strategies.
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.
Brad Reimer, System Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Brad Reimer serves as Sanford Health’s chief information officer, responsible for all technology systems including patient-critical applications like Epic, Cloverleaf and Sectra PACS; business solutions like Workday, ServiceNow and productivity applications; and information security.
In his time at Sanford Health, Reimer has revamped the information security program; renewed the department’s focus on efficiencies, contracts and quality; and successfully positioned the system’s technical infrastructure for stability, agility and nimbleness, a critical component for success during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to joining Sanford in 2017, Reimer held leadership positions at DocuTAP and Wells Fargo.
Reimer holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. He and his wife, Salena, have three children.
Nate Schema, President & CEO, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society
Nathan Schema serves as president and CEO of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, leading the nation’s largest non-profit provider of senior care and services. He oversees the development and execution of organizational priorities, and in partnership with Sanford Health leadership, works to advance the integrated health care system.
Schema’s longstanding career with the Society began in 2006 as an administrator-in-training in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. He was a nursing home administrator at multiple Society locations, and also held positions as associate director of operations, regional executive director of operations and vice president of operations.
His extensive experience positions Schema to be an authoritative advocate for seniors and the health care heroes who care for them. He believes all seniors deserve access to high-quality care, no matter where they live. With 70 percent of the Society’s residents living in rural communities, Schema is committed to reducing rural access disparities. He champions opportunities to transform how and where senior care is delivered through the Society’s integration with Sanford Health.
In January 2022, Schema 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 also serves on the post-acute strategy steering committee for the American Hospital Association.
Schema is passionate about supporting and developing the next generation of health care leaders and caregivers, who will be instrumental in shaping the future of senior care.
A native of Faribault, Minnesota, Schema holds a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Concordia College (Minnesota) and a Master of Business Administration from Bellevue University.Schema lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Alex, and their two sons.
Todd Schaffer, MD, President & CEO, Sanford Bismarck
Todd Schaffer, 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.
Schaffer joined Sanford Health in 2014 as a family practitioner and walk-in clinic physician, becoming vice president of clinic in 2019. He holds a doctor of pharmacy degree with honors from North Dakota State University; a medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he graduated first in his class; and a master’s degree in strategic studies with distinguished honors from the United States Army War College.
In addition to his work with Sanford, Schaffer is a colonel in the North Dakota Army National Guard, serving as the State Surgeon. He also sits on the North Dakota Medical Association Board of Directors and is active in a number of other community organizations.
Dr. Schaffer and his wife, Erin, have four daughters and one grandson.
Robb Schlimgen, System Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer
Robb Schlimgen, system vice president and chief compliance officer for Sanford Health, oversees the organization’s compliance and privacy programs.
Schlimgen previously advised Sanford Health leadership on employment law issues and handled legal and compliance affairs for Sanford Health Plan. Prior to joining Sanford Health in 2016, he clerked for the South Dakota Supreme Court and and worked in private practice.
Schlimgen holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and accounting from the University of South Dakota and a law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law.
He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Mary, and their son.
John Snyder, President, Sanford Health Plan
John 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.
Steve Young, President, Sanford Sports
Steve 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.