Contact Media Relations

The Sanford Health Media Relations team provides public relations services to working members of the media. Journalists should always work with a member of the media relations team to coordinate interviews, photos and/or video. Sanford Health Media Relations is available 24 hours a day at the numbers listed below.

Sioux Falls Region/Corporate Headquarters

(605) 366-2432

Shawn Neisteadt
Jacqueline Palfy
Paul Heinert

Fargo Region

(701) 200-6080

Nathan Aamodt
Christen Rennich

Bismarck Region

(701) 516-4903

Jon Berg

Bemidji Region

(218) 407-7516

Lindsey Wangberg

Additional Resources

Facts and Figures

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition.

Sanford Health includes:

  • 44 medical centers
  • 482 clinics
  • 242 senior living facilities
  • 190,000 Sanford Health Plan members
  • 1,453 physicians, 1,001 advanced practice providers and 9,703 registered nurses delivering care in more than 80 specialty areas
  • 48,622 employees

Each year, Sanford Health provides:

  • 5.3 million outpatient and clinic visits
  • 84,466 admissions
  • 136,436 surgeries and procedures
  • 9,537 births
  • 210,129 emergency department visits

Denny Sanford is one of the nation’s top health care philanthropists. Mr. Sanford is founder and owner of First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard, the president and CEO of United National Corporation and a well-known philanthropist. He has given nearly $1 billion to Sanford Health, which was renamed in his honor in 2007.

“Denny Sanford combines an amazing business acumen with a spirit of generosity that is rarely seen in this world. The institutions that exist in his name, and everyone who carries out their work there, does so in his spirit,” says Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.

Born Thomas Denny Sanford on Dec. 23, 1935, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, during the depths of the Great Depression, he lived in modest circumstances, supported by a father in the clothing distribution business. He lost his mother to breast cancer at age 4, and 70 years later gave $100 million to support the creation of the Edith Sanford Breast Center, named in her memory.

Mr. Sanford graduated from Saint Paul Central High School in 1954 and completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Minnesota in 1958. He then enrolled in a training program with Armstrong Cork, where he finished at the top of his class. From there, he moved to southern Michigan, where he thrived in sales for the company.

Mr. Sanford then left to form his own company, Contech, a national distributor of construction materials and later a manufacturing company. He took the company public in 1972. A decade later, it was generating $35 million in sales, and Mr. Sanford felt comfortable enough to retire at age 45, moving to Florida.

In 1986, he found himself back in Minnesota and was contacted by a friend in Sioux Falls seeking to sell First Interstate Bank, which Mr. Sanford purchased at a cost of $5 million in April 1987 and renamed First PREMIER Bank in 1992. Alongside the bank, he created PREMIER Bankcard. For the next 25 years, the organization grew from 80 employees to 3,000.

By 1995, the bank’s value exceeded $200 million, and Mr. Sanford’s personal worth reached $55 million. In roughly another decade, his personal worth reached $2.5 billion, and he nearly made the Forbes list of the 100 richest people in America.

In 2004, Mr. Sanford began a long philanthropic relationship with Sioux Valley Hospital and Health Systems, which would eventually be renamed Sanford Health. That year, he gave $16 million to support the construction of what would be Sanford Children’s Hospital and provided $20 million to the state medical school, which renamed itself the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota.

Feb. 3, 2007, marked a momentous day in the history of the relationship between Mr. Sanford and Sioux Valley with the announcement of his $400 million gift, which at the time was the largest philanthropic gift to a health system.

In 2011, Mr. Sanford gave another $100 million to support the Edith Sanford Breast Center, and in 2014, he gifted $125 million to Sanford Health for the creation of the Imagenetics program to advance genetic medicine.

All told, his philanthropic offerings to Sanford Health have totaled nearly $1 billion and transformed it into the integrated health care provider that it is today.

The health care organization is far from the only beneficiary of his largesse. He has given generously to support education, the arts, science and more. His total philanthropic gifts exceed $1.6 billion.

Mr. Sanford lives by the mantra, “I aspire to inspire before I expire.” And he has truly already accomplished his life’s mission. His giving has generated further philanthropy, not only to Sanford Health but to a number of causes.

With an unwavering commitment to the health of patients and a visionary approach to care, Kelby Krabbenhoft has helped transform Sanford Health into a national leader in medicine, research and innovation. During his 20-year tenure, Mr. Krabbenhoft has led the system through dynamic growth and development, including the acquisition and management of nearly $1 billion in philanthropic support from Denny Sanford for whom the system was renamed in 2007.

With legacy heritages that span more than a century, Mr. Krabbenhoft brought together regional health systems based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Bemidji, Minnesota; and Bismarck, North Dakota, to form Sanford Health. A merger with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in January 2019 grew the system to 44 hospitals and more than 200 senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Sanford Health employs nearly 50,000 and is the largest employer in the Dakotas.

Under Mr. Krabbenhoft’s leadership, Sanford Health is tackling some of medicine’s most challenging issues, including the state of global health, breast cancer, pediatric rare disease, and type 1 diabetes. At the same time, the organization is also advancing health care through its innovative integration of genomics into primary care, the creation of an expansive biobank, and the exploration of the healing powers of immunotherapy and adipose stem cells. In recognition of the system’s commitment to transformative thinking, creativity and ingenuity, Mr. Krabbenhoft, on behalf of Sanford Health, accepted the 2016 Pontifical Key Innovation Award at the Vatican’s global conference on regenerative medicine.

Before arriving at Sanford Health, Mr. Krabbenhoft’s previous positions included: president and chief executive officer, Freeman Health System, Joplin, Missouri; executive vice president, Sisters of Mary of the Presentation Health Corporation, Fargo, North Dakota; president, St. Margaret’s Hospital, Spring Valley, Illinois; president, Guttenberg Hospital, Guttenberg, Iowa.

Mr. Krabbenhoft holds an MBA from Minnesota State University Mankato and a bachelor’s degree in business and hospital administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Kelby and his wife, Heidi, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Micah Aberson serves as Sanford Health’s executive vice president, overseeing the planning, development and execution of strategic marketing initiatives for the organization. He also has corporate oversight of the Sanford Health Foundation, Profile by Sanford, Sanford World Clinic and public policy.

Micah works closely with the Sanford International Board as the organization’s global footprint continues to expand through new partnerships and bold initiatives like the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award. He also chairs the board of the Sanford International PGA Tour of Champions tournament. The Sioux Falls native joined Sanford Health in 2015 as executive vice president of the Sanford Health Foundation where he directed fundraising, endowment management and special programs such as the Children’s Miracle Network. Micah is a graduate of Augustana University and earned his MBA from the University of Sioux Falls. Micah and his wife, Jaclyn, have two daughters.

Allison Suttle, M.D., is part of the executive team that defines the overall business strategy and direction for Sanford Health. In addition, she leads the clinical vision for the organization with a specific focus on standardization, quality and safety for Sanford Health’s clinical leaders and physicians.

Dr. Suttle has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Brown University, a medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and an MBA from the University of Sioux Falls. She completed an OB-GYN residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, before beginning her practice at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. In 2011, she was named chief medical information officer and has been serving as Sanford Health’s chief medical officer since 2014. A fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists since 2003 and a member of both the South Dakota State Medical Association and Seventh District Medical Society, Dr. Suttle also serves on the board of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Suttle, a native of Sioux Falls, and her husband, Gary, have one son.

Nathan Peterson serves as chief of staff to CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft. His responsibilities include coordinating meetings, retreats and other activities to advance the CEO’s vision and accomplish system goals, as well as overseeing communication from the CEO’s office. Nathan is also vice president of strategic planning and governance for the system.

He began his career at Sanford Health in 2010 and has held multiple positions, including director of legislative affairs, Minnesota; and enterprise vice president of marketing. Prior to joining Sanford Health, Nathan was the managing director of a national political consulting and issues management firm based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is also an enlisted member of the South Dakota Air National Guard and has served in the military for more than 19 years. Nathan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and MBA, both from the University of South Dakota. He and his wife, Megan, have three children.

Randy Bury is responsible for the successful planning and implementation of operational and strategic goals. He joined Sanford Health more than 36 years ago and served in numerous leadership roles including chief administrative officer and executive vice president. Most recently, Randy served as the Senior Vice President of Operations, Health Services Division.

Randy holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in health care administration. He is past president of the South Dakota chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, past Board member of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, has served on several local boards, most recently the Sioux Empire United Way Board of Directors and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He and his wife, Sonia, have two sons.

Dr. David A. Pearce is responsible for overseeing the development of research programs across Sanford Health’s nine-state footprint, including more than 450 researchers, eight research centers and more than 300 ongoing clinical trials. His responsibilities also include the commercialization of select research strategies and integrating Sanford Research operations into Sanford World Clinic sites. Dr. Pearce heads the leading lab in juvenile Batten disease research, and his research has led to the first clinical trial for children with juvenile Batten disease. He also oversees a national registry for rare diseases known as the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS).

Dr. Pearce completed his bachelor’s degree with honors in biological sciences at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. He gained his PhD at the University of Bath, U.K., and did postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester, U.S., and Oxford University, U.K. David and his wife, Suzanne, have three children.

David Shulkin, M.D., former secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is Sanford Health’s chief innovation officer.

He leads initiatives to advance work in research, Imagenetics, the Sanford Chip, Profile and World Clinic. He helps to drive the health system’s continued clinical development and serves as a strategic advisor on Sanford Health’s national growth strategy and overall public policy efforts.

He is a director on the Sanford International Board and an ambassador for Sanford Health on many of the health system’s domestic and international projects. In addition, he works with others in academia and health care, providing strategic direction and advice on national health care issues.

Before serving as secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Shulkin was leader of the largest integrated health care system in the United States as the VA’s undersecretary of health. He served in chief executive roles for Beth Israel Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center and as chief medical officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Temple University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. Shulkin received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and is a board-certified internist. He completed an internship at Yale University School of Medicine and a residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Medical Center.

Nate White holds dual roles as Sanford Health’s chief operating officer and president of the Fargo market. He oversees the ongoing business operations across the organization and is responsible for administration of the health services division in Fargo, which includes the clinic, medical center and health network.

White joined Sanford Health in 2006 as associate general counsel and was appointed chief operating officer of the Sioux Falls region health services division in 2012. He previously served as an attorney at WilmerHale in Washington. White has a bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana University and a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. He and his wife, Annette, have twin sons.