(Left) Bill Gassen and his wife, Jill. (Right) Bill with three of his five children.

Meet Sanford Health’s new president and CEO

December 19, 2020

There’s a new leader at the helm of Sanford Health. President and CEO Bill Gassen has a passion for people and a heart for the community.

Bill has been with Sanford Health since 2012, most recently serving as chief administrative officer. He and his wife, Jill, have five children ranging in ages from 2 to 11 years old, which keeps him quite busy when he’s not at the office.

“It’s all about those small things right now,” Bill told Sanford Health News. “I’m fortunate that my children are at that age, when I come in the door —  it doesn’t matter what time it is — you can hear those little footsteps, they still jump into your arms and want to give you a hug. There’s nothing that brings it all home better than that. Nothing that brings perspective better than that.”

Bill Gassen with his wife, Jill, and three of their five children.

That mentality carries over to his professional career, especially as he assumes his new leadership position.

“I try to be mindful that the 50,000 people at this organization have those responsibilities, too,” Bill explained.

Even while entering his role during one of health care’s most challenging years, one of Bill’s highest priorities is letting employee caregivers, communities — and donors — know he’s thankful for their commitment.

We sat down with Bill recently to ask about the importance of philanthropy at Sanford, and his own inspiration for giving.


Why does philanthropy matter at Sanford?

Sanford Health has had many opportunities to do some truly amazing things. As a community-based nonprofit, we rely on generous partners to do those things and to help us fulfill our mission of providing health, healing and comfort.

We depend on donors and the community for financial support and workforce; donors and our communities put their faith in us for care. It’s a synergistic relationship and an important piece of our story.

We couldn’t do the awesome work we do without our generous donors and we are privileged to provide exceptional health care through their support.


What would you like to say to people who give through the Sanford Health Foundation?

Speaking on behalf of the organization, we are so grateful to have such strong and generous community partners and donors, like you.

Your gifts allow us to be there for people who have entrusted us with their care. You help take care of people at critical moments in their lives. That’s profound positive impact and something I hope donors are proud of.

I also want donors to know that, just like our caregivers earn the trust of our patients, I have every intention of earning your trust in Sanford as a good philanthropic investment.

Personally, I am grateful to donors who have made it possible for me to continue to come to work each day, to a job I’m passionate about where I get to serve my community and our people.


You’ve been a longtime supporter of the Foundation. Why is giving back important to you personally?

Giving time or treasure to important causes benefits our communities in many ways through ripple effects we may not see.

Growing up, my parents modeled giving back. Donating our time and treasure was just part of what we did and we looked forward to it.

My wife and I try to model this with our children now. We believe we’re blessed so we can be a blessing to others.

It’s also a fact that simply doing good for others positively impacts our own well-being. I give back because it feels good to do good.


Learn more about Bill and his vision for Sanford.