Nursing Leadership

Our Leaders

Meet the leaders championing Sanford Health’s nursing team. Our leadership is here to provide unparalleled strategy, unique insights and valuable guidance to support nurses in all roles.

Erica 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.

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.

Kelly Hagen, Vice President, Nursing & Clinical Services, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and Clinics

Kelly Hagen, RN, is the vice president of nursing and clinical services at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and Clinics. She’s responsible for nursing practice and clinical services for ambulatory and inpatient care units throughout northern Minnesota.

Kelly, an advocate for the advancement of nurses, has more than 40 years of experience as a nurse in palliative, medical-surgical, orthopedic, ICU, open heart and cardiac care, as well as in nursing leadership. She understands the importance of collaborating with those at the bedside when assessing and improving the quality of nursing care provided to patients.

To expand her knowledge of science-based practices, Kelly earned her diploma in nursing from the St. Boniface School of Nursing at the University of Manitoba, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Charles Sturt University and her two master’s degrees in management and business administration from the University of Mary.

When she’s not leading the nursing and quality efforts for the Bemidji region, Kelly is helping her husband and children manage their family-run dog grooming business and spending time with her family as much as she can.

Wendy Kopp, Vice President, Nursing & Clinical Services, Sanford Bismarck Medical Center and Clinics

Wendy Kopp, PhD, RN, serves as vice president of nursing and clinical services for the Sanford Bismarck region. She is responsible for nursing practice and clinical services for ambulatory and inpatient care units within a shared governance model. She promotes an environment that empowers nurse to provide safe, reliable, patient-centered nursing care. She also provides leadership and vision for the philosophy, development and advancement of nursing to measure, assess and improve the quality of nursing care delivered to patients.

Kopp began her nursing career as a float pool/telemetry unit RN in 1989. Kopp’s nursing experience in both the clinical and academic environment helps her ensure the necessary training and education of staff, patients and families in accordance with all regulatory agencies to deliver a consistent level of nursing.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Dakota, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Mary and her Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational and Adult Education from North Dakota State University.

Kopp enjoys biking, kayaking, running and spending time outdoors. She and her husband, Bill, have five children and three grandchildren.

Theresa Larson, Vice President, Nursing & Clinical Services, Sanford Fargo Medical Center and Clinics

As vice president of nursing and clinical services at Sanford Fargo, Theresa Larson is responsible for the development, execution and continuous improvement of nursing and clinical services in the Fargo market for Sanford Health.

Larson began her career as a licensed practical nurse. After 10 years, she became a registered nurse, working in critical care areas and at Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center. Larson served as director of the infusion center, gastroenterology clinics and pulmonary clinics before moving her focus to the nurse navigation and survivorship programs at Edith Sanford Breast Center. She went on to serve as the director of endoscopy, gastroenterology, reproductive medicine and intensive care before becoming the executive director of Sanford Fargo’s pediatric, nephrology and gastroenterology services.

Larson has an associate’s degree in practical nursing from the North Dakota State College of Science and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from North Dakota State University. Larson has a master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Mary. She and her husband, Jim, have two children.

Kelly Hefti, MSN, RN CNP COHN-S, Vice President, Nursing & Clinical Services, Sanford USD Medical Center and Clinics, Sioux Falls

Kelly Hefti, MSN, RN, CNP, COHN-S, is vice president of nursing and clinical services for Sanford USD Medical Center and Clinics. She is responsible for nursing practice and clinical services for ambulatory and inpatient care units within a shared governance model. She provides leadership and vision for the philosophy, development and advancement of nursing to measure, assess and improve the quality of nursing care delivered to patients.

Hefti also is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and serves on the Sioux Empire United Way Board of Directors.

She began working at Sanford Health as a summer extern in 1991. She has since served as a registered nurse and clinical care leader in the cardiovascular surgical department and as senior director and certified nurse practitioner in employee health and occupational medicine. Hefti was also the executive director of heart and vascular services.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in nursing from Augustana University and her Master of Science in nursing from South Dakota State University.

Hefti enjoys reading, watching hockey and spending time with family. She and her husband, Brian, have one son and one daughter.

Amy Thiesse, PhD, RN, Vice President, Nursing & Clinical Services, Sanford Health Network, South Region

Amy Thiesse, PhD, RN, is vice president of nursing and clinical services, Health Network South for Sanford Health. She is responsible for the development of projects, strategies and business ventures for nursing and clinical services. She works closely with enterprise and market leadership, as well as network facility and medical staff leaders, to ensure the integrated delivery of clinical services across the continuum of care.

She joined Sanford Health in 2000 as director of nursing at Sanford Vermillion Care Center. She has previously served as a nursing and clinical services consultant for Health Network South – Sioux Falls.

Thiesse is serving her fourth term as Aging Services board member for the South Dakota Organization of Nurse Leaders and is an active member of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations council on post-acute care. She has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 2009.

She earned her nursing degree from St. Luke’s School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Mount Marty College, a master’s degree in nursing leadership and management from Walden University and a PhD in nursing health care administration from Walden University.

Thiesse enjoys spending time at the lake, traveling and creating memories with family and friends. She lives in Vermillion, South Dakota, with her husband, Dave. She has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Rochelle Rindels, MSN, RN, QCP, Vice President Nursing & Clinical Services, Good Samaritan Society

Rochelle Rindels, vice president of nursing and clinical services for The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, has deep ties to the Society and Sanford Health. She has worked for both legacy organizations in nursing and quality roles.

Rindels joined the Society in 2017, working in nursing and quality improvement before becoming director of professional practice and care management. She was appointed vice president of nursing and clinical services in 2020 and manages nursing practice and direct care for skilled rehab, home health, hospice and community-based services. Rindels spent 11 years at Sanford Health as a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, clinical care coordinator and quality improvement advisor.

A graduate of South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Rindels also holds a master’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix and is completing her doctorate in nursing at the University of Mary.

Rindels lives in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, with her husband and two children.

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