Chief Executive Officer

Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
Req Number: RF894
Posted: 9/15/2021
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Education
Job Type: Permanent

We are assisting Altru Health System in their search for a Chief Executive Officer. Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru is a community-owned, integrated health system with over 3,500 staff members, including 212 physicians. Further, as a key member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru partners with Mayo Clinic to ensure a high level of knowledge and expertise in patient care.

Reporting Relationship
The CEO will report to the Board of Directors. Reporting directly to the CEO are the following positions: Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Clinic Operations Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief People & Strategy Officer, Chief Philanthropy/Partnership Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Executive Vice President, Regional Development.

Website --


Altru Health System is a community of over 3,500 health professionals and support staff committed to caring for the region for more than 100 years. Serving over 250,000 residents in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, we provide an array of services to meet the needs of patients of all ages and levels of health.

Patients come first at Altru Health System. As choices for health care continue to expand, Altru is making sure they continue to give our patients the best care every day.

As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru partners with Mayo Clinic to bring knowledge and expertise to the Red River Valley. Together, Altru shares a common philosophy, commitment and mission to improve the delivery of health care through high quality, data driven, evidence-based medical care and treatment.

Through the Network, patients have access to the highest level of clinical expertise available and benefit from enhanced communication with Mayo physicians as needed.

While caring for their patients, Altru physicians can seek advice from Mayo Clinic’s disease management protocols, clinical care guidelines, treatment recommendations and reference materials for complex medical conditions. By working together, we all get better.


Improving Health, Enriching Life


Deliver world-class health care to the residents of our region.


Our Patients

Meeting the needs and expectations of our patients is our highest priority.

Our Care

We provide quality care that is demonstrated to achieve the best results for patients.

Our Team

We work as a team and treat each other with honesty, loyalty and respect.

Our Communities

We are committed to improving the health of our communities.

By the Numbers – (2020 number unless otherwise noted)

  • 525.9 M in Net Revenue (2020) and $26M in Community Benefit
  • 257 Licensed hospital beds, 45 bed specialty center
  • 3,583 employees, including 212 physicians and 120 Advanced Practitioners (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, CRNA’s, RN Clinicians (August 2020)
  • 276 volunteers completed over 15,156 service hours (2019)
  • 11,373 inpatient discharges, Births 1,500
  • Over 27,000 Emergency Department visits, Express Care Visits 25,704
  • 8,956 Ambulance calls, 181 Altru Care Flight transports
  • 479,114 total clinic visits at Grand Forks and regional clinics
  • 67 physician specialties
  • 14 Grand Forks practice locations
  • 10 regional practice locations

World Class Regional HealthCare System

AHS must provide a clearly exceptional experience for patients, regional referrals sources and other stakeholders, achieving high levels of patient loyalty. To be successful, AHS needs to actively engage patients in their process of care and life-long health and well-being.  AHS will need to attract and retain a talented team of physicians and employees committed to delivering high quality care.
AHS is building a fully integrated system of care, including completing the building of a new hospital, to meet the changing patient and community expectations by providing all needed care to the region. To offset declining reimbursements, AHS needs to grow annual revenues to $1 billion over the next decade. Success hinges on two key areas 1) alliances with other regional providers and 2) targeted program development.  Nurturing influential relationships with key external stakeholders will be a pivotal.

AHS is aiming to eliminate errors and defects in every piece of its care delivery and work. Safe care protects patients, produces the best outcomes, and delivers the highest value. AHS will need the capability to effectively manage the population health.

Financial Stewardship

Altru needs strong financial performance to maintain a stable base of operations.   It must have the capacity to fully discharge its obligation of care, even in times of extreme change, regulatory and legislative uncertainty, and market turbulence. To achieve sustainable operations, AHS will have to grow revenues, drive cost reduction and improve capital efficiencies to effectively address the pressures posed by emerging reimbursement models.  


The Chief Executive Officer will provide executive leadership for Altru Health System in dyad partnership and shared responsibility with the President (MD). The CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors and will work to ensure strong administrative and physician leadership is aligned to the mission, vision, and values. S/he will work extensively in the community and region to foster external relationships, partnerships, and alliances along with legislative influence to support mission. The CEO will demonstrate agility, change leadership and innovative thinking to lead change and transformation and achieve results in a competitive environment.


The CEO will:

  • Provide strategic, business, operational and cultural leadership to deliver high-value care and ensure viability of Altru Health System in changing industry.
  • Develop and oversee execution of strategic and business plan development and partnerships to ensure delivery of value-based services to market region.
  • Oversee business operations, financial position and development and execution of strategic response to competitive market.
  • Foster external stakeholder relationships local, state, and federal level including influencing legislative policy and coalition building to influence effective business and clinical delivery of care.
  • Provide administrative expertise to ensure the provision of safe, reliable, quality care and service in all locations.
  • Provide leadership to ensure organization meets all governance, legal and regulatory requirements to maintain integrity of operations.
  • Set the tone for culture of inclusion, engagement and service among all employees and physicians while aligning to direction of organization.
  • Cultivate stakeholder relationships to strengthen market position and create community engagement.
  • Oversee operational and performance improvement embracing the lean management model fostering the adoption of lean, evidenced-based leadership and high reliability.
  • Develop and implement long-range strategies that enhance patient care and supports strong relational management and engages in the direction and leadership of the organization. Establish long range plans and goals for growth and development of programs, products, and services, strategically aligning innovative opportunities for world class care.
  • Ensure transparency and clarity in all actions and communication to key stakeholders i.e., physicians, employees, Board of Directors, community, government agencies. Build strong productive relationships with stakeholders to engage them in accomplishing strategic goals. Understand stakeholder needs and concerns and leverage this to influence and gain support for organizational priorities. Set standards for operational performance for the organization and fiscal accountability. Develop and achieve annual financial targets and hold leaders and employees accountable.
  • Build consensus with Leadership and Medical Staff working in cooperation on related strategy and program initiatives.
  • Recruit, develop, retain, and lead a talented team of committed executives to cascade and accomplish the goals of Altru Health System.
  • Build an environment of shared commitment to organizational goals and foster an environment conducive to maximizing individual and collective productivity, emphasizing performance and collaboration. Conduct performance reviews, actively recognize, and reward employees and take appropriate actions when performance is not meeting expectations. Take responsibility for personal growth and development and meet all system educational requirements.


  • Requires a minimum of ten years of demonstrated experience in a large complex integrated health system.  Experience in a multi-specialty group practice, hospital environment, and one with many employed and aligned providers is strongly preferred.    
  • The CEO will have strong business and administrative skills. Broad experience across a variety of key functional areas of health care administration is ideal.  These include the following: strategic planning, patient care, quality & safety, finance, service line development, operations excellence, physician relations, joint-venture development, information technology, human resources, legal /risk management, public relations, marketing, government.
  • A proven track record of leading consistent, successful financial and operational performance. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop a strategic plan and then effectively implement the plan across a complex health care organization to achieve long-term success.
  • Proven experience in successfully partnering with Boards to affect positive change to move an organization forward to higher performance. 
  • Proven expertise in leading systems integration efforts and in performing a cultural transformation in a complex and changing health care setting.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of accountable care strategies and initiatives.  Has played a key role in advancing these agendas in current organization.
  • Proven record of building consensus, trust, open communication, promotion of diverse perspectives, mutual support, and empowerment. 
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and manage an organization through change, a successful change agent.   
  • Leadership capabilities that accommodate a complex organization with multiple matrix relationships, and which values strong decisive leadership while also encouraging timely consensus building as a preferred style.
  • Outstanding relationship building skills is paramount to success.  Must be highly collaborative and someone who relates well with diverse constituents. 
  • Superb communication skills (written, verbal, and listening) that are equally effective with large and small audiences and on a one-on-one level. 
  • Very visible, approachable, and involved in not only the health system, but also in the local communities it serves.
  • A style that supports change and innovation, an ability to delegate yet keep control, set high standards, hold people accountable, and make tough decisions.
  • Capable of perceiving situations as they really are, politically astute/savvy.
  • Excellent executive presence with the ability to inspire and motivate.
  • An appreciation for rural health care; comfortable working in rural health care in communities across a wide geography. 
  • Positive, can-do attitude.  The ultimate team player who leads by example.  A role model for all in the organization to follow. 
  • Highly ethical; unwavering integrity.


Envision the Strategy
Execute the Strategy
Engage and Build Credibility and Accountability
Enable and Retain Top Talent 

  1. A.    Envision the Strategy

Strategic Agility: Understands the position of Altru in the market and reflects on relevant external forces and trends, as well as their implications to the healthcare industry. Understands the relationship of the organization to competitors, the industry, and other key organizations based on a broad scan and understanding of a variety of trends in the environment.

Level (1): Understands the market. Stays current on the industry, members, partners, and suppliers. Knows what current competitors are doing. Knows what differentiates organization from the competition.

Level (2): Makes systematic efforts to understand market dynamics. Stays current to issues relating to the health care community. Digs deeper into issues to better understand situation or issue and impact.

Level (3): Stays current on social, regulatory, environmental, or technological trends and impact. Instills in others a need to understand markets, trends, and uses on-going systems to obtain industry information.

Level (4): Identified how health care trends can impact the present and future. Explicitly states how Altru can take advantage of opportunities and approach threats in the future.

Forward Thinking: Inspires the future and strives to shape it rather that passively watch; creates opportunities or prevents problems in the future by acting now.

Level (1): Recognizes and acts on opportunities. Takes short-term steps to overcome a problem and pursues opportunities.

Level (2): Acts now to take advantage of opportunities that reshape the current strategy.

Level (3): Acts to address problems

  1. Execute the Strategy

Drive for Results: A drive to achieve higher performance by setting challenging goals and creating a bias for action around achieving the highest priority goals.

Level (1): Sets out to achieve a unique standard that is a stretch, and realistic. Focus on increasing the quality of results. Has a detailed understanding of how to accomplish goals.

Level (2): Established clear, detailed goals for self and others that drive higher performance. Seeks and seizes opportunities with a sense of urgency.

Level (3): Makes decisions that move the organization in the right direction. Deliver superior financial and growth results with focus on improved quality.

Level (4): Champions change in a way that pushes people to achieve sustainable performance and growth.

Empower with Accountability: Delegate authority, both enabling others to act with purpose and hold them accountable.

Level (1): Identifies what needs to be accomplished, the standards to meet, and the consequences of not meeting. Highlights the importance of quality improvement and role of each team member. Tracks performance and removes people who do not perform.

Level (2): Sets the general direction and the parameters in which leaders operate. Delegates authority to implement the plan, reviews results, and provides feedback. Holds the team accountable for keeping a constant eye on strategy

Level (3): Trusts the judgement of capable leaders in defined areas of authority. Supports their decisions even in the face of criticism from other constituents including leadership and physicians.

  1. Engage and Build Credibility and Accountability

Impact and Influence: Influence or impress individuals and groups to engage in going along with or to support a specific course of action. This includes engaging others to take ownership of a problem or situation.

Level (1): Anticipates and prepares for others’ reactions based upon understanding of needs, concerns, and experiences of others. Develops agenda to appeal to the interest & competency of others.

Level (2): Talks individually with key stakeholders or decision-makers to understand concerns & interests & to gain support. Adapts approach to address issues.

Level (3): Uses chains of indirect influence: get A to show B so B will tell C

Takes two or more steps to influence with each step adapted to specific audience. Uses experts or other third parties to influence.

Level (4): Assembles coalitions and builds support for ideas. Uses deep understanding of the interactions within a group to move it toward a specific outcome.

Executive Maturity: Exhibits self-control and demonstrates respect for others. Makes the right leadership choices even when their own feelings conflict with the demands of the situation. It is based on self-control or self-management.

Level (1): Is emotionally self-aware; recognizes how his/her own feelings impact behavior. Knows own strengths & weaknesses and takes actions to compensate.

Level (2): Confident in leadership approach as demonstrated by applying expertise, accomplishing goals through others and ability to make decisions while navigating differences of opinions.

Level (3): Consistently maintains self-control & acts appropriately in all situations.

Manages personally stressful situations. Remains objective in highly charged situations.

Level (4): Acts on what is right for Altru even when it does not meet personal goals or interests.

Managing Stakeholders: Identifies and manages an increasingly complex and broad set of stakeholders. Demonstrates the ability to also balance multiple stakeholders and work with their different interests.

Level (1): Understands the expectations of stakeholders and shapes interactions to establish collaborative & mutually beneficial relationships. Understands & upholds boundaries for executive’s role related to key stakeholders & respects those boundaries.

Level (2): Openly communicates information important to each stakeholder.

Works closely with key decision makers to share organizational issues & performance. Transparent to avoid perception of hidden agenda.

Level (3): Effectively and confidently manages relationships with stakeholders as key to accomplishing strategic goals.

Level (4): Recognizes responsibility to larger communities. Acts in a way that enhances, changes or benefits industry, social community, and environment, including having a positive impact on governmental and social policy.

  1. Enable and Retain Top Talent

Engaging Communication: Communicates the vision, strategy, and values of the organization to all stakeholders in a way meaningful to them. Help stakeholders make meaning of complex ideas and situations by painting a compelling picture.

Level (1): Provides the group with a logical and clear overview of the vision, strategy, and values.

Level (2): Paints a compelling picture for the audience. Speaks in a style that appeals to diverse audiences.

Level (3): Paints an inspiring picture showing different groups how they are/can be part of the compelling picture of the future.

Executive Team Leadership: Leads the Executive Team and creates the conditions that enable them to be effective. Composes and develops the team to address organizational demands. Takes overt, deliberate actions to empower team members and communicates in a manner that inspires and energizes them.

Level (1): Informs and includes people impacted by a decision to know what is happening, even if they are not required to share such information and explains the reason for the decision. Recognizes and leverages the value of an interdependent team. Makes sure the team has all the necessary information.

Level (2): Takes specific actions with the intent of enabling the team to function at its best (e.g., setting a clear direction, providing the appropriate structure, keeping only the right people on the team). Gathers input for purposes of promoting the effectiveness of the team.

Level (3): Takes deliberate actions to ensure that the team has all the resources support, skills, and knowledge they need to perform optimally. Stretches the team members with a plan of increasingly more visible and challenging opportunities. Provides needed support & development for individuals/team.

Level (4): Creates the conditions that enable the team to do breakthrough thinking. Establishes clarity of direction that can be cascaded to lower organizational levels. Inspires confidence in the mission.

Aligning the Organization: Takes deliberate action to accomplish strategic objectives and organizational change initiatives in the context of external constraints, resources, and opportunities. The actions include factors such as people, structure, systems, culture, and management practices.

Level (1): Singular, repeated, or multiple actions are taken independently, or one thing at a time to establish alignment. Actions are not coordinated or integrated with each other, although moving toward the same strategic goal.

Level (2): Multiple actions that are linked together in a coordinated sequence are taken to move the organization toward a strategic goal.

Level (3): Considers the environmental context before making changes and anticipates multiple outcomes and responses.

Level (4): Makes a conscious and deliberate choice of multiple actions such as changing the structure, policy, process, metrics, or people that respect intra-organizational interdependencies as well as external factors, and which drives strategic objectives.


  • Master’s Degree in Business or Related Field required.


  • An executive compensation package will be competitive and commensurate with experience. 


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.