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.