President and CEO, Sanford Health
Gassen leads the nation’s largest rural health system, serving more than 1 million patients and 200,000 health plan members across the upper Midwest. In 2024, Sanford—which operates 46 medical centers—plans to open a virtual care center equipped with telemedicine technology to provide urgent care, behavioral health and primary care services to patients in remote clinic sites. The center is part of Sanford’s $350 million initiative designed to improve care for rural and underserved communities. To improve health outcomes, Sanford is also developing an obstetrics virtual hospitalist program to help clinicians in regional emergency departments recognize and treat hypertension, hemorrhage and other conditions associated with maternal mortality. Before being appointed to the top job in 2020, Gassen previously filled several leadership positions at Sanford, including chief administrative officer, corporate counsel and chief human resources officer. He serves on the American Hospital Association board of trustees.