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Bob Sutton Named New CEO of Avera Health

Avera Health

Avera Health is welcoming its first new CEO is more than 40 years. The organization announces Bob Sutton as the successor to retiring CEO John Porter.  

Bob Sutton is a South Dakota native, current president of the Board of Regents, and has held a variety of positions within the Avera system since he was first hired in 20-13. His most recent position was Executive Vice President of Human Resources.

Sutton says Avera’s mission of service is what attracts him to the new role. He says he’s fortunate to be stepping in after decades of strong leadership by John Porter. Sutton says his priorities include developing a strategic plan for continued growth both in- and outside of existing Avera markets.

“So it’s not changing a lot of things. It’s taking where we’re at and saying, ‘What does it look like five or ten years down the road?’" says Sutton.  "And we’ll start having those conversations on—maybe not the morning of June 18th, but certainly by the middle of the afternoon.”

Sutton was one of nearly a dozen internal candidates who applied for the position, along with around 80 external applicants from the national search process. John Porter was not a member of the search committee for his successor, but he worked with the Sisters to identify promising internal candidates.

“I think as the group sat there and compared Bob and his background, and his enthusiasm, and his commitment to the mission on anything compared to those from around the country, I think it’s just a tremendous decision for them,” he says.

Porter believes Sutton’s experience in senior management positions in Avera have prepared him for the new role.

Sutton takes over as CEO of Avera Health on June 18th.