UPDATED: Changes at the top for Sanford Bemidji: Nermoe promoted to lead Fargo market; Jarvis to take over in Bemidji

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BEMIDJI -- Sanford Health is making changes to leadership in the First City on the Mississippi and in the Red River Valley.

The Sioux Falls, S.D./Fargo, N.D.-based healthcare system announced Thursday that Bryan Nermoe, president of Sanford Bemidji, will be promoted to president of the Fargo market. Sanford also announced Nermoe's successor in Bemidji will be Sanford Fargo Vice President of Operations Susan Jarvis.

The change will be effective Jan. 1, marking Nermoe's tenure in Bemidji at about four years. Nermoe succeeded Dan Olson. Sanford Bemidji has about 2,300 employees, while Sanford Fargo, about five times the market size of Bemidji, has about 12,000 employees, officials said.

Since being named president for the Bemidji and Bagley operations in 2016, Nermoe has seen several major projects come to fruition.

One was the $12 million, 20,500 square-foot Joe Lueken Cancer Center addition to Bemidji's main clinic. Opened in August 2018, the facility includes 20 infusion rooms and 15 exam rooms, among other services, allowing more people to stay in Bemidji for treatment.


Another initiative, announced this summer, was Sanford investing $1 million for new programs and positions in collaboration with BSU, Northwest Technical College and Bemidji High School. Titled the Collaborative Alliance for Regional Healthcare Educational Services, or CARES, the push was made to build the workforce and make an impact on the community's education.

"What I'm most proud of is the balance of what we do," Nermoe said of Sanford Bemidji. "Both on what we do on the campus and what we do in the community. It may not all be as visible to people coming to our campus, but there are a lot of things, whether it's helping with creating the Bemidji Alliance, the CARES initiative or the Healthy Kids initiative with the United Way and Bemidji School District."

"We as a board are proud of the accomplishments of Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota during Bryan's Tenure," said Kay Mack, Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota board chair, in a statement. "His dedication to health care in our community has resulted in tremendous growth and expansion of our facilities and services. His leadership has also played a critical role in developing and fostering relationships within our community."

Nermoe said he knew Bemidj was a special place when he saw how the community came together was when he saw the turnout simply for the announcement that Sanford was going to build a cancer center.

"The Sanford Center ballroom was completely full, standing-room only," Nermoe said. "In that minute, seeing standing-room only for an announcement, not a gala or a silent auction, it told me right away the commitment to the community the people who live here have."

While he's moving to another community, though, Nermoe will be no stranger to the Fargo-Moorhead metro. Nermoe grew up in the area and attended Concordia College in Moorhead. Nermoe said the proximity of the two markets should make for a smooth transition.

"The markets are very interactive with each other, especially in the relationship between Fargo and Bemidji," Nermoe said. "We have a lot of patients starting out in Bemidji who find their way to Fargo to receive care we don't offer here. The transition, because of that, is a little easier. Susan Jarvis, who's going to be taking this role, we already work together quite a bit."

Nermoe said he also doesn't plan to be a stranger in Bemidji, either. He and his wife, Katie, plan to maintain a home on a Bemidji-area lake and visit as often as they can.


"The board wishes Bryan the best as he transitions to the Fargo market," Mack said. "We are also grateful that Sanford has established strong leadership planning that will allow for a smooth transition between Bryan and our future president, Susan Jarvis. We look forward to working with Susan and are excited about the future of health care within our community."

Not every initiative during Nermoe's tenure was able to get off the ground, though. Sanford, in conjunction with Greater Bemidji Economic Development. introduced the concept of a $27 million wellness center and sports complex for the community in 2017 . However, the project was shelved about a year later as Sanford Bemidji and Greater Bemidji couldn't find common ground with the city on the best way to proceed.

"It was an idea we put out on the table that a lot of people in the community were talking about," Nermoe said. "We'll still be coming here, going to the lake, and I'll be interested in seeing how the conversation and the idea continues to evolve. In the time I've been here, when Bemidji sets its mind to something, it accomplishes it. I think it's up to Bemidji to see if they want to set their mind to it."

Jarvis has been with Sanford Health since 2010, beginning as executive director of emergency, trauma and critical services in Fargo, before moving to the vice president position in 2017. According to a release, under her work, Sanford opened a new medical center, several clinics and received certification as a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center.

Jarvis came to Sanford from Mission Hospitals and Health System in Asheville, N.C. She holds a degree in nursing from Clayton State University in Georgia, a bachelor's degree from the University of St. Francis and a master's degree from the University of Phoenix.

The position Nermoe is taking opened as Nate White, chief operating officer and president of Sanford Fargo, is taking a corporate leadership position at the provider's Sioux Falls headquarters. White assumed the role of president in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2017.


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Bryan Nermoe

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