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Search for Altru Health Systems chief executive now underway

The search for a new leader, previously expected to begin in early January, was paused due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the death of Altru’s board chair, Lonnie Laffen. Dave Molmen, who has been serving as the interim CEO since July, will continue in that role until the new CEO has been hired. Altru officials anticipate the role will be filled by the end of the year.

Altru Health System - Night

Altru’s board of directors have announced the recruitment of the Health System’s new permanent chief executive officer is now underway.

The search for a new leader, previously expected to begin in early January, was paused due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the death of Altru’s board chair , Lonnie Laffen. Dave Molmen, who has been serving as the interim CEO since July, will continue in that role until the new CEO has been hired. Altru officials anticipate the role will be filled by the end of the year.

“Earlier this year, Altru and our board of directors were navigating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the untimely passing of our board chair Lonnie Laffen, with these came a delay in the recruitment process,” said Annie Bonzer, director of marketing and public relations at Altru. “We now feel we can offer a well-timed recruitment process to candidates with fewer restrictions related to the pandemic, and with a hospital project underway, candidates can see clearly our vision for growth and commitment to our vision.”

Altru is set to resume construction on a new hospital building in the fall, after putting the project on hiatus in 2020, due to financial turbulence brought on by the pandemic.

The CEO position will be open to both internal and external applicants. Candidates will be vetted by a search committee made up of members of the Altru Health System and Altru Health Foundation Boards. Committee members include: board members Karen Thingelstad, board chair, Dr. Jody Treuer, Dr. Bill McKinnon, Laura Block and Eric Halverson. Altru Health Foundation Chair Keith Lund will also be involved in the process. The hospital’s board of directors will make the final decision on a candidate.

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“The board of directors will be seeking someone who can inspire and engage people from across Altru and our community to deliver world-class care,” shared Karen Thingelstad, board chair and search committee member. “They should be a visionary with a proven track record of executive-level leadership and align well with our community.”

Once a new CEO has been hired, Molmen will return to his role as a member of Altru’s board of directors.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at akurtz@gfherald.com, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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