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Sutton named Avera’s president and CEO

SIOUX FALLS – Avera Health announced Thursday it will promote current Executive Vice President of Human Resources Bob Sutton to be its new president and chief executive officer.

Sutton, of Sioux Falls, will replace John Porter, who is retiring after 44 years with the organization and will take over the job June 18.

Sutton, who has worked with Avera since 2013, was previously Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre and Senior Vice President of Community Relations.

“We narrowed the field down to several outstanding candidates, from both inside and outside of Avera. Bob was set apart by his enthusiasm and commitment to the Avera mission, his vast knowledge of South Dakota, its communities and surrounding states, and his compassion as a servant leader,” said Mary Kay Panowicz, who chaired Avera’s search committee.

Sutton is currently a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents until 2019 and was previously president of the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Avera has 17,500 employees in 300 locations in five states, including Mitchell’s Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Other locations include clinics, long-term care centers, retirement communities, home care, hospice, sports and fitness centers, home medical equipment outlets and health insurance. Additionally, Avera’s virtual health care provides services across the country in 17 states.

“Mission is the foundational, fundamental core of our organization, and I aspire to lead with vision and courage as we set a clear direction for growth and future strengthening of our organization,” Sutton said.