Kirk Zimmer was placed as the president of Sanford Health Plan in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a community-based, non-profit health insurance organization that was founded in 1998 by Sanford Health. The health plan has approximately 174,000 members, with a regional network of 18,000 providers.Sanford Health is one of the largest health systems in the nation, with 43 hospitals and nearly 250 clinics in nine states and three countries. The health system's 27,000 employees, including 1,400 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas.
Kirk brings to the position an innate ability to develop and nurture culture, with sound ethical standards and strong values. He is a skilled communicator and leader who works well with a broad range of internal and external contacts, and is able to gain buy-in through his focus on accountability and achievable metrics.
Before joining Sanford Health Plan, Kirk served as the chief executive officer of DAKOTACARE in Sioux Falls, the most comprehensive managed care network ever assembled in South Dakota. During his ten-year tenure in this position, Kirk brought about a cultural transformation in the company by increasing transparency. He successfully grew the company from ten to 150 employees, and its annual revenue from $10 million to $150 million. He expanded product lines and membership, which reached over 125,000 members in all 50 states.
Previously, Kirk served DAKOTACARE as a senior vice president, vice president of finance, and chief financial officer, contributing a total of 27 years to the organization altogether. He began his career with CPA firm McGladrey LLP as a senior staff auditor and general services manager.
Kirk is originally from southwestern Minnesota. He earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University and is a certified public accountant, as well as a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has also been appointed by the governor of South Dakota to serve on a variety of task forces, committees, and advisory boards. Kirk and his wife are the parents of five grown children and three grandchildren.