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Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft replaced after mask email

Sanford Well being’s CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft mentioned he thinks sporting a masks can be merely for present, believing he’s immune for ‘no less than seven months.’

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — The top of one of many largest regional well being programs within the Midwest was changed Tuesday, lower than per week after telling workers that he had recovered from COVID-19 and was not sporting a masks across the workplace.

Sanford Well being mentioned in a launch that it has “mutually agreed to half methods” with longtime CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, who took over in 1996 and helped develop the group from a neighborhood hospital into what’s billed as the most important rural nonprofit well being system within the nation.

Krabbenhoft left the manager place after telling workers in an e mail that he believes he’s now proof against COVID-19 for “no less than seven months and maybe years to return” and that he isn’t a menace to transmit it to anybody. He mentioned sporting a masks can be merely for present. Different Sanford executives tried to distance themselves from the feedback.

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Dr. Kathy Anderson, president of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, mentioned it was “an particularly harmful message to be sending proper now in North Dakota.”

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention advises folks to put on masks as a result of they assist stop people who find themselves contaminated — whether or not they realize it or not — from spreading the coronavirus. It additionally says masks also can shield wearers who usually are not contaminated, although to a lesser diploma.

Krabbenhoft mentioned in a press release that the timing of his departure was proper for him and his household.

“We determined that at the moment was a superb time to retire,” he mentioned. “Sanford is in a superb place, strongest ever.”

The corporate’s Board of Trustees have named Invoice Gassen to take over for Krabbenhoft. Gassen has been with Sanford since 2012, most lately serving as chief administrative officer. His appointment is efficient instantly.

Sanford Well being, primarily based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has 46 hospitals and greater than 200 clinics concentrated in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. It employs about 50,000 folks. The Dakotas have for weeks had the nation’s worst unfold charges of the coronavirus, in line with The COVID Monitoring Venture.

Krabbenhoft’s departure comes a month after Sanford and Salt Lake Metropolis-based Intermountain Healthcare introduced plans to merge corporations. Krabbenhoft was slated to change into president emeritus after the merger, which nonetheless must be permitted.

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