Sanford physician, trustee Maria Bell leads with experience

Dr. Bell's many accomplishments in medicine, research help drive health organization forward

Sanford physician, trustee Maria Bell leads with experience

The 13-member Sanford Health 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.

Maria Bell, MD, is one of four physicians serving on the Board of Trustees. She joined the board in 2013.

A gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Bell treats patients with reproductive cancers through cutting-edge technology and chemotherapy.

“As a practicing clinician, I bring something to the table that would be different from the other trustees,” Dr. Bell explained. “In addition, I do outreach in Bismarck and Fargo and telemedicine in Bemidji. So I have knowledge of what’s going on.”

Dr. Bell is no stranger to leadership roles possessing qualities that shaped her in college with a tennis scholarship to Augustana University and later, becoming a Hall of Famer for excellence in the sport.

Read: Sports meant everything to these Sanford employees

“I knew I wanted to be a physician very early in life – age 12 or 13 – and I knew that tennis would be a vehicle for me to get educated,” she added.

An accomplished physician today, Dr. Bell is at the forefront of medical advancements and is among the first to pioneer robotic hysterectomy surgery and education around the world now with thousands of robotic surgeries to date.

With a passion for robotic technology, outside of the operating room and clinic, Dr. Bell started Digital Twin Imaging, a 3D modeling company in 2021.

Dr. Bell is a licensed pilot and just completed her first cross-country trip from Sioux Falls to Pensacola, Florida.

“I got my private pilot’s license finished that probably 2014 and built a plane with another person,” Dr. Bell said. “I love aviation and I’m sure that’ll be something that I can do going forward.”

She has enjoyed serving in a governance role to advance Sanford Health forward and after nine years of service, encourages fellow board members to continue embracing every region of its large footprint.

“I’m interfacing with other intelligent, accomplished people who are going in the same direction as I am, as far as wanting Sanford to do well. So that is what I really have enjoyed about being on the board.”

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Posted In Company News, Corporate Services & Administration, Leadership in Health Care, People & Culture, Physicians and APPs, Sanford Stories, Sioux Falls