Four senior leaders are retiring from Sanford Health after long tenures, the organization announced July 28: Mike Begeman, Dr. Dan Blue, JoAnn Kunkel and Kim Patrick.
In a letter to employees, President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft congratulated his leadership team.
“At Sanford Health, our strategic-planning process is in place to guarantee continuity over the long term,” he said. “With well over a century of experience serving our communities, we recognize the importance of consistency, reliability and durability — and this includes having a thoughtful succession plan in place for our leadership team.
“Today, I am announcing the upcoming retirement of four longtime executives. While their presence will undoubtedly be missed, we have cultivated a deep leadership bench with incredible talent who are always ready to step up.”
Meet the executives
Mike Begeman, vice president of community relations, will retire after 18 years at Sanford Health. Previously an educator and coach for 26 years in South Dakota schools, Begeman joined Sanford Health in 2002. Aside from his current role, he also served as executive chief of staff.
Begeman has an incredible gift for working with the community and has developed and maintained those relationships; coordinated numerous sponsorships, contributions and community memberships; and he has remained active in a variety of community organizations. He has been the public face of Sanford Health as the organization takes to heart the responsibility of being a good corporate citizen.
Dan Blue, M.D., has served Sanford Health and its legacy systems for more than 30 years as a family practice physician, chief medical officer of Sioux Valley Clinic, president of Sanford Clinic and president of Sanford World Clinic. He consistently grew the provider base of Sanford Clinic over the course of 17 years and worked to increase the number of services and facilities in the communities served.
As leader of Sanford Clinic, he played a key role in the mergers that made Sanford Health one of the largest integrated health systems in the country. Beyond that, he oversaw the expansion of Sanford World Clinic to new countries and locations, providing greater access to health care and increasing collaborative research in areas like genomic medicine.
JoAnn Kunkel, chief financial officer, joined Sanford Health in 1992, holding numerous roles in finance before becoming CFO eight years ago. Kunkel has been instrumental in ensuring the organization’s long-term financial success, which increasingly benefits those Sanford Health serves.
She has developed and ensured Sanford Health’s commitment to a winning financial strategy through overseeing finance, accounting, revenue cycle and related functions. Without her expertise in planning and commitment to oversight, Sanford Health would not have weathered the current pandemic as well as it has.
Kim Patrick, chief business development officer, created Sanford Health’s legal department more than 20 years ago and served as chief legal officer. Several years ago, he took on the responsibility of overseeing mergers and acquisitions, as well as ensuring the successful commercialization of intellectual property owned or developed by Sanford Health.
Growth has made Sanford Health a stronger, more durable organization that will be able to maintain its commitment to the communities it serves for the long term, and Patrick has been an indispensable part of ensuring Sanford can deliver on its promises.
What’s next for their roles
Sanford Health will immediately shift oversight of Sanford World Clinic from Dr. Blue to David Pearce, Ph.D., whose new title will be president of innovation, research and Sanford World Clinic.
Krabbenhoft said his team is working with Begeman, Kunkel and Patrick on transition plans over next several months.
He closed his letter by wishing the four retirees well.
“It has been an honor to have them here at Sanford Health,” he said. “We thank them for their dedication to the work of health and healing and celebrate them for their achievements in advancing our organization.”
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