Fortune names Sanford Health to ‘most innovative’ list

America’s Most Innovative Companies includes health system for second year in a row

Fortune names Sanford Health to ‘most innovative’ list

For the second consecutive year, Fortune has named Sanford Health to its list of “America’s Most Innovative Companies.” The 2024 list honors 200 companies who do business in the United States and “transform industries inside and out.”

Sanford Health is ranked 150th – a jump of 48 spots from 2023 – and is the only South Dakota or North Dakota-based company recognized on the list, which includes businesses from a multitude of sectors across the United States. Out of the 200 companies honored by Fortune, 44 are in health care and 21 are health systems. Other health care companies named to the list include Johnson & Johnson, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Pfizer, Henry Ford Health System and UPMC, among others.

“This honor encompasses the vital work of so many talented individuals and teams at Sanford Health – from the dedicated caregivers on the front lines to the creators and connectors behind the scenes,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “We owe it to our patients, residents and communities to drive innovation and invest in health initiatives to expand access, improve the patient experience and address workforce challenges in rural America.”

This fall, Sanford Health is scheduled to open the Sanford Virtual Care Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the hub of its $350 million virtual care initiative. The initiative includes an education institute with a simulation center, an innovation center with accelerator spaces to co-develop solutions for the future of care delivery, as well as a patient and family experience lab designed like a living room to test new tools and technologies.

Sanford Health continues to take innovative approaches to challenges facing rural health care. Examples include expanding its Graduate Medical Education program; leveraging AI-enabled technology, automation and predictive analytics to reduce administrative burdens that lead to burnout; and incorporating new care delivery models such as remote patient monitoring to better serve rural populations.

Sanford Health leaders have been at the forefront of the industry effort to develop voluntary standards for the use of AI tools in health care. Gassen was one of 28 initial health care executives to voluntarily sign a pledge that emphasizes the need to ensure AI is safe and responsible.

The ranking by Fortune is informed by scores based on three dimensions, each weighted equally: product innovation, process innovation and innovation culture. Fortune partnered with Statista for the development of the ranking, which began with a list of more than 25,000 companies up for consideration and a call for entry on, with any eligible company allowed to register and participate in the ranking.

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Company News, Innovations, Leadership in Health Care, News