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Altru won't be sold, CEO says

Following rumors that Grand Forks, N.D.-based Altru Health System may be acquired after the sudden departure of President Steven Weiser, MD, the system's new CEO told the Grand Forks Herald in a March 5 article that Altru is not for sale.

Todd Forkel, the new CEO, recently started his role, previously working for Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Avera Health.

"Altru is definitely not for sale. Altru has a strong sense of identity to continue to be community led," Mr. Forkel said. "Our intention is to continue to remain a community-led health system."

Karen Thingelstad, the system's chair of the board of directors, told the Herald that Mr. Forkel stood out as a candidate because of his interest in working for an independent health system. She added that despite challenges with the pandemic and the departure of its president, Altru had an operating margin of 3.6 percent in 2021.

Ms. Thingelstad also said rating agencies are "satisfied" with Altru's stability.

Two other executives were fired in early 2020, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began, though Ms. Thingelstad told the Herald that the firings were not a trend or an indicator of Altru's health as a system.

Read more here.

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