PIERRE — The C-E-O of Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre will be stepping down from that role in late February. Todd Forkel will be taking a position as C-E-O with Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Forkel is also C-E-O of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen. Forkel’s career in the Avera system started in Aberdeen, where he was born. He became C-E-O at St. Luke’s in 2011 and took the same role at St. Mary’s in 2015. Dr. Mikel Holland, Chief Medical Officer at St. Mary’s says Forkel helped expand and grow Avera’s services in the Pierre region. Forkel helped set the course for shared leadership functions across multiple regions within Avera. Under Forkel’s leadership Avera St. Mary’s earned five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and named a Top 100 and Top 20 Rural and Community Hospitals nationwide. Forkel will leave the Avera system February 20th. Avera will announce an interim leadership plan in the near future.