Recent Placements

Sanford Health

Stephen Saffa was placed as the executive human resources business partner for the Fargo (ND) market of Sanford Health. With $4.2 billion in annual net operating revenue, the integrated Sanford Health system is the largest rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation and the largest employer in North and South Dakota, served by more than 27,000 employees. It has locations in 132 communities in six states and international clinics in Ghana and China, with a total of 39 hospitals, 32 long-term care facilities, 225 clinic locations, and 1,360 physicians. Reporting to the vice president of business solutions, Steve holds overall responsibility for the execution of the human resource strategy across his region, overseeing and managing the delivery of human resource solutions to business problems. His scope of responsibility covers organizational development and effectiveness, change management, talent management and development, workforce planning, succession management, diversity and inclusion, employee wellness, employee relations, and labor relations.

Steve brings to the position a reputation for servant leadership, mentoring HR professionals, and developing cultures of respect and trust. His HR strengths include shaping culture through leadership identification and development, constructive resolution of work conflict, employee engagement, performance management, training and development, compensation and benefits strategies, and recruitment and selection.

Before joining Sanford, Steve served as a human resources director at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas. He was a member of the senior leadership team and of the St. Francis board, and served as the "face and voice" of the HR department. Steve successfully built support for initiatives rolled out by the parent SCL Health System among his organization's 1,400 employees, and was able to develop trust with the executive team. He provided executive coaching to handle a variety of complex issues, and earned a reputation as a collaborative resource within the organization. Steve also put together a comprehensive program to address issues with leadership, conflict within teams, and fair compensation for roles, whereby he was able to effectively formulate solutions to recruitment and retention concerns.

Previously, Mike served as a human resource director for the system office of Ascension Health in St. Louis; as a global human resource director for Computerized Medical Systems; as a senior manager of human resources for Northrop Grumman's Cutting Edge Optronics; and as a corporate HR manager for MEMC Electronic Materials. He began his career as a human resource generalist with Medical Microsystems and with Store Surgical Instrument Company.

Steve is originally from St. Louis. He completed his bachelor's degree at Southeast Missouri State University, and his MBA in human resources at St. Louis University. Steve enjoys being outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing.

QLK's Roger Quick and Jake Barto led the search to recruit Steve to Sanford Health, where he has been in place since August 29, 2016.


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