Herseth Sandlin, Shulkin elected to Sanford Health board

Augustana University president, former secretary of VA begin terms Jan. 1

Herseth Sandlin, Shulkin elected to Sanford Health board

Sanford Health announced today Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and former Veterans Affairs Secretary, The Honorable David J. Shulkin, M.D., have been elected to serve as members of its Board of Trustees. Herseth Sandlin and Sec. Shulkin will begin their terms Jan. 1.

Sanford Health trustees are elected by the full Board and currently serve up to three three-year terms. The Board of Trustees’ Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for identifying, evaluating and recommending potential new members based on their qualifications and experience. Trustees represent a broad range of backgrounds, with extensive experience in health care, business, finance, technology and the nonprofit sector.

The 11-member Board of Trustees oversees governance for the health system, guiding the pursuit of Sanford’s mission and providing oversight of the organization’s strategic direction and financial and operational performance.

“Throughout my time in Congress and now as president of Augustana University, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with members of the Sanford Health leadership team. I have always been inspired by their vision, strategic execution and deep commitment to excellence, innovation and community. It is an honor to now serve alongside distinguished community and industry leaders as a member of the Sanford Health Board of Trustees to further advance their mission to transform the health care experience and bring world-class health care to communities near and far,” said Herseth Sandlin.

Congress to university leadership

Herseth Sandlin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, where she went on to serve four terms. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. House from South Dakota and the youngest woman serving in Congress during that time. Following her time in Congress, Herseth Sandlin became a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm and later joined Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, as the company’s first general counsel and vice president of corporate development.

She has served as president of Augustana University since 2017. She is the first woman to lead the university since it was established 163 years ago. As a result of her leadership, the university developed and is implementing its transformational Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 strategic plan — supported by the largest and most comprehensive campaign in Augustana’s history.

“Stephanie is a generational leader who has made a profound impact everywhere she has been — from Congress to the Augustana University community,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “I want to welcome Stephanie to the Board of Trustees and thank her for sharing her talents and experience with our health system. Sanford Health will be a better organization because of her involvement, helping guide our strategic direction and continuing to put our people, patients and residents and communities first.”

Internal medicine to Veterans Affairs

Sec. Shulkin brings extensive health care experience to the Board of Trustees as both an executive leader and clinician, specializing in internal medicine. From 2015 through 2018, Sec. Shulkin served in various capacities at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including as Secretary of the VA from 2017-18 and as Under Secretary for Health from 2015-17. Prior to his tenure at the VA, he served in executive leadership positions at Morristown Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Temple University Hospital, Drexel University School of Medicine, Doctor Quality, Inc. and the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sec. Shulkin has also previously served as a strategic advisor for Sanford Health in clinical innovation, veterans/military affairs and other areas. He has been instrumental in initiatives that advance research and help veterans receive world class care — such as access to free genetic testing as part of a precision medicine partnership between Sanford Health and the VA.

“It cannot be overstated the value of Sec. Shulkin’s counsel to Sanford Health and the expertise he brings to the table,” said Gassen. “His desire to always do what is best for our nation’s veterans has improved the lives of countless patients throughout our health system and across the country, and his commitment to innovation has helped drive tremendous progress in health care. His experience and insights will be incredibly beneficial on the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to the significant contributions he will continue to make to our organization.”

“I was first introduced to Sanford Health while serving in Washington, and their vision to drive innovation and constantly seek new ways to improve the lives of their patients was overwhelmingly clear. Sanford’s commitment to veterans and their families matches my passion for our nation’s heroes,” said Sec. Shulkin. “I am honored to join the Sanford Health Board of Trustees where we can continue to lead this mission-based health system and provide world-class health care to all.”

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