Former Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft Raised $ 49.5 Million After Brutal Exit

Krabbenhoft’s compensation included $ 15 million in severance, $ 29.4 million in pension payments and $ 5.1 million in salary for 2020, the Sioux-based health system said. Falls, South Dakota, in an annual filing with the IRS.

Sanford Health severed ties with Krabbenhoft on November 24, 2020, after making a series of controversial and unscientific comments about wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a media statement on Monday, Sanford Health explained that Krabbenhoft’s payment was largely an amount that would have been owed to him anyway, regardless of when he left the healthcare system.

“The majority of the indemnities paid to Mr. Krabbenhoft upon his departure were contractually incurred under pension plans during his 24 years,” the health system said in an email. “The remainder was Mr. Krabbenhoft’s annual compensation and severance pay. These payments enter into Sanford Health’s financial obligations to Mr. Krabbenhoft.”

In an email Monday to employees by Forum News Service, current Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen said he expected the case including Krabbenhoft’s compensation “to raise questions, in particular given the unexpected nature of his departure, ”and said similar talking points provided later. to the media.

A Forum News Service message sent to an email address configured for Krabbenhoft media inquiries bounced as undeliverable.

Sanford Health is a multi-state healthcare system with approximately 48,000 employees and major medical centers in Sioux Falls, Fargo and Bemidji, Minnesota, 224 clinics and 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care facilities.

Six days before Krabbenhoft left the healthcare system on November 24, 2020, he emailed employees to tell them he didn’t think he needed to wear a mask at work “as a symbolic gesture” because he considered himself largely immune due to the antibodies he developed while fighting a case of COVID-19.

The publication of the email, first reported by Forum News Service, sparked national media coverage and a storm of comments in response.

Krabbenhoft, who is not a doctor, has largely defended his remarks in follow-up interviews, although his own management team has disowned his comments as inconsistent with current medical knowledge, and admitted that his comments were likely frustrating and disappointing for the Sanford pandemic. Staff.

“We will continue to let science guide the work we do every day to keep our communities healthy and safe. The science is clear, the masks work,” they wrote.

Sanford Health declined to disclose the terms of Krabbenhoft’s severance package when it announced his departure. Krabbenhoft also did not address the terms of any severance pay, issuing a statement calling the day a “good time to retire”.

Krabbenhoft was replaced by Gassen, then administrative director of Sanford Health. The following week, Sanford Health halted its planned merger with Intermountain Healthcare of Utah. Gassen cited the change in management at Sanford as the reason for the move.

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