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Published on September 17, 2020

Maertens to Step Down as Avera Marshall CEO and Regional President

Avera announces that CEO and Regional President Mary Maertens will be stepping down after 35 years of health care service in the Marshall region.

Maertens’ last day as CEO and Regional President at Avera Marshall will be Sept. 30. She will assume other duties at Avera through October 2021.

“Mary has helped transform health care in southwest Minnesota and made significant advancements in growing the Avera Marshall region,” said Bob Sutton, Avera Health President and CEO. “I know that many of us have rethought where we are in life as we go through this pandemic. It is with utmost respect that I accepted Mary’s change as CEO and Regional President. On behalf of Avera, I thank Mary for her many contributions to Avera Marshall over the years.”

Maertens started her career as a nursing assistant, and worked up through the ranks of nursing leadership before entering the field of administration. Her devotion to patient care came from her perspective as a nurse. Maertens was instrumental in growth of Avera Marshall, leading the acquisitions of the ACMC physician practice, Avera Tyler and Avera Granite Falls Health Center. She oversaw the addition of the Avera Cancer Institute in Marshall and was instrumental in growing the Avera Medical Group practice, bringing 3D mammography and other advanced imaging to the community, and providing behavioral health services, remodeling of the emergency department, and several specialty services not previously available in the community. In addition, Maertens has served as a service line leader for Behavioral Health, Eye Care, Laboratory and Nephrology for the health system.

A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Maertens has been highly involved with the Minnesota Hospital Association, including the role of board chair. Additionally, she has served as a member of the American Hospital Association board of trustees as chair of the regional policy board.

“It is with mixed emotions that I share the decision to step down as CEO and Regional President for Avera Marshall. I have dedicated 35 years of my life to this wonderful organization and to ensuring that this region has sustainable, vibrant health care into the future,” said Maertens. “Now it is time for me to take time for me, and to enjoy my family. I am looking forward to exploring new avenues and opportunities. And I have great confidence in our interim leadership. They will be working with a dedicated group of leaders, physicians, nurses and employees who share Avera’s mission and commitment to rural health care.”

A transition plan begins immediately. Mark Vortherms, Avera Medical Group Vice President of Primary Care, and Curt Hohman, Senior Vice President of Managed Facilities will serve as interim co-leaders in the Avera Marshall region over the coming four to six months.

“During this time, we will review the position requirements and have discussions with key stakeholders to determine the approach to selecting a new permanent leader,” said Sutton. “In the meantime, Mark and Curt bring a depth of experience working with physicians and with rural hospitals, as well as building relationships in communities. Both are servant-leaders and committed to the mission and ministry of Avera Health.”

Sutton said he expects to have a permanent leader in place by early 2021 and will be looking for leadership who will support the changing and evolving needs of Avera Marshall’s entire region and our dynamic workforce.

“If this past year has taught us anything, we are incredibly adaptable to change. Avera Marshall will continue to be a vibrant part of our system. We thank Mary for all of her contributions to Avera Marshall,” said Sutton.

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