Alumnus new COO of Essentia Health

BY JOSIE GERESZEK
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An MSUM grad has returned to Fargo-Moorhead as chief operating officer of Essentia Health’s West Region.

Timothy Sayler started his new role at Essentia Health overseeing facilities in both North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota on March 17. Essentia’s West Region president and chief executive officer Dr. Greg Glasner was excited about the new hire.

“Tim is an experienced healthcare leader,” he said, adding that Essentia Health will be strengthened as a healthcare system with Sayler’s help.

Sayler is certainly qualified for this task. More than 30 years ago, after graduating from MSUM, the Wishek, N.D., native started his career at Altru Health in Grand Forks. Over the span of 27 years there, he claimed an array of titles ending with chief operating officer.

Most recently, Sayler served as chief executive officer and president of the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho.

Glasner said Sayler’s success at these organizations has illustrated the skills and talents he’s brought to Essentia. “While at Altru, he helped the healthcare system achieve its vision for organizational excellence, which included a focus on people, service, quality, finance and growth,” Glasner added.

The prospect of a new job for Sayler came about nine months ago, but it was not an easy decision for the then-president of St. Joseph’s. Sayler weighed the option of moving from Lewiston for about half of what was an extremely eventful year at the hospital. He had announced in June that the medical center was cutting 40 full and part-time positions to save annual revenue.

Nevertheless, Sayler accepted Essentia’s offer and returned to North Dakota before starting his new position in March. Although Sayler’s job description here is somewhat similar to his position held at St. Joseph’s, the responsibility that comes with it has increased. At Essentia, Sayler oversees five hospitals and several area clinics which employ more than 2,000 people. In his previous Lewiston environment, there were less than half that number. It’s an opportunity, Sayler said, to have “a little broader impact” in a market he’s familiar with.

Sayler has joined Essentia in the midst of an elaborate expansion project, a $60 million investment which is currently expanding the hospital’s emergency facilities, operating rooms and imaging services. When completed in 2015, it will have doubled the number of emergency rooms from 13 to 26. The project is due to increased patient volumes.

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