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Sanford Health recognized among best employers for veterans for fourth-straight year

Beyond the No. 4 overall ranking, Sanford Health specifically ranked No. 1 among nonprofit groups, best in health care and first for businesses headquartered in South Dakota.

Sanford
Sanford's corporate headquarters in Sioux Falls.
Contributed / Sanford Health
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SIOUX FALLS — For the fourth-straight year, Sanford Health has been recognized as one of the best places for veterans and active-duty service members to work.

In the Military Times’ 2022 iteration of the “Best For Vets: Employers” study, Sanford Health ranked fourth-best across all American companies of a variety of sizes. The study evaluated 10 key metrics, including recruitment and employment practices, retention and support programs, employment for Guard and Reserve employees, inclusiveness of the workplace, programs and initiatives for spouses and caretakers of military service members, credit toward retirement due to military service and more.

Beyond the No. 4 overall ranking across all companies included in the report, Sanford Health specifically ranked No. 1 among nonprofit groups, best in health care and first for businesses headquartered in South Dakota. In the large enterprise category, made up of companies with an annual revenue of more than one billion dollars, Sanford Health ranked fourth.

“At Sanford Health, we are committed to honoring the service, sacrifices and bravery of veterans while offering a welcoming environment for them to thrive in the Sanford family. My father served in the United States Air Force, and as a son of a veteran, I know first-hand the value and unique perspective veterans and military personnel add to our workforce,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “I’m humbled by their service and thankful many have chosen Sanford Health as their employer, where I hope they find a meaningful and supportive work environment.”

In the past year, Sanford Health said they’ve upped the number of veterans in its workforce by 6% and the number of active National Guard and Army Reserve members by 16%.

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Capt. Paul Weckman, a retired U.S. Navy veteran and head of the health system’s military and veteran affairs department, said the organization actively seeks new service members to recruit.

While this is a week to thank and remember the service and sacrifice of military veterans, for one hospital volunteer in Fargo, every day is Veterans Day.

“As we continue to seek out and hire more veterans to become part of the Sanford family, it’s important we do all that we can to make them feel supported and valued,” said Capt. Weckman. “Being recognized by Military Times as one of the top 5 employers is an honor, and these programs we offer to recruit, retain and support veterans are the least we can do for the sacrifices these brave men and women have made serving our country.”

Applicants who disclose their veteran status are automatically given a screening interview, Sanford Health said. Service members have the option to continue their education and apply for a $5,000 scholarship to help them do this, among other benefits.

Though Sanford Health may be headquartered in Sioux Falls, the ever-expanding organization has built themselves into the largest rural health care system in the United States, serving more than a million patients across 250,000 square miles with more than 2,800 physicians and advanced practice providers at 47 medical centers and hundreds of clinics.

The health care organization, however, wasn’t the only business in the Upper Midwest to receive recognition, as three Minnesota-based companies cracked the report’s top-175.

U.S. Bank ranked seventh overall and second among all in the banking industry, Hormel ranked 39th overall and 29th in the large enterprise category while Xcel Energy ranked 69th overall and seventh among all energy, utility and gas companies.

The report was derived from survey responses collected from May through August of 2022, before being analyzed and placed into rankings across the key metrics. The full rankings can be found on the Military Times website.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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