This marks two consecutive years Gassen has been named to this significant list. Prominent leaders joining Gassen include President Joe Biden; Sec. Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services; Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health; and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
This prestigious recognition program acknowledges and honors individuals who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be the most influential figures in the industry in terms of leadership and impact.
The complete ranking can be found in the Dec. 4 issue of MH magazine, and profiles of all the honorees are available online.
“The 2023 honorees on our 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare reflect the providers, insurers, technology firms, government leaders, investors and others who have made oversized contributions to the industry in the past year,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor-in-chief of Modern Healthcare. “Our ranked list honors the C-suite decision-makers using their clout and influence to lead their organizations and make sweeping changes that affect patient care.”
Leadership and impact on rural health
Gassen, ranked No. 32 on the list, 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 Health is scheduled 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.
Prior to being appointed president and CEO in 2020, Gassen held several leadership positions at Sanford Health, including chief administrative officer, corporate counsel and chief human resources officer. He serves on the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.
“This is far from an individual honor — this recognition is possible because of the incredible talent, vision and dedication of caregivers across the system who choose every day to make a difference in the lives of our patients, residents and communities,” said Gassen. “It is a commitment with action. We are expanding service lines in rural areas and fundamentally changing the way we deliver care to bring access to world-class care close to home regardless of ZIP code.”
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