President and CEO, Sanford Health
Gassen hopes to expand Sanford Health’s geographic reach through a proposed merger with Fairview Health Services announced in November. The deal with 11-hospital Fairview would combine Sanford’s 47 medical centers and largely rural patient base with that of the Twin Cities metropolitan market. Gassen, who has led Sanford since 2020, would stay on as CEO after a one-year co-CEO period. Earlier this year, Sanford also broke ground on a $350 million virtual care center, which will be a hub for a network of virtual clinics and telehealth services, intended to bridge the physical divide of a system that spans roughly 250,000 miles—nearly the size of Texas. Under Gassen’s leadership, Sanford has been building a training pipeline for rural healthcare providers. In 2021, it announced plans to grow its graduate medical residencies and fellowships in specialty areas.