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Avera Searching For CEO To Lead O'Neill Facility

Jan 25, 2023 (0)

Theresa Guenther

Avera is pleased to announce that Theresa Guenther, BA, MSE, has been named the CEO of Avera Creighton Hospital. She is currently serving as the interim CEO, and the permanent transition will take place on Feb. 1.

Originally, a search was done for a CEO who would continue to divide their time between Avera Creighton Hospital and Avera St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neill.

Doug Ekeren, regional president and CEO for the Avera Sacred Heart region, which includes the Avera Creighton and Avera St. Anthony's hospitals, said that, as the search process has evolved, it became clear to the Avera Creighton Advisory Council, the Avera St. Anthony's Board of Directors and him that it would serve the organizations well to reevaluate their path forward.

“Theresa has been doing an incredible job as the Avera Creighton CEO on an interim basis. Additionally, she already has a Nebraska nursing home administrator license, which has helped us with management of the Avera Creighton Care Centre,” he stated. “Instead of sharing an administrator between Creighton and O'Neill, Theresa will divide her time between Creighton and Yankton, and we will extend a search for a candidate to be the CEO of Avera St. Anthony's Hospital alone.”

Guenther has bachelors and graduate degrees from Wayne State College and has been at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital for 20 years. She is the vice president of Quality at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, which includes a wide variety of duties. While she will continue in that role, some of her current responsibilities will be redistributed to allow her more time for her work as CEO.

“Theresa has jumped right in to provide strong leadership since she became the interim CEO in September,” said Russ Diedrichsen, the chair of the Avera Creighton Advisory Council. “She will ensure that our hospital, nursing home and clinic remains prepared to serve patients and residents with high-quality care. Theresa will also continue to work with community stakeholders to strengthen health and well-being resources in Creighton and the surrounding area.”

Guenther said she has enjoyed working with providers, employees and community partners these past four months.

“We have a great team of dedicated caregivers and support staff at Avera Creighton, and I look forward to collaborating with them to make sure our organization continues to make a positive impact in the lives and health of communities we serve,” she stated. “I'm honored to be selected for this role and am ready for the work that lies ahead.”

Meanwhile, the search will continue for an Avera St. Anthony's Hospital CEO.

“While we have been committed to sharing a CEO between Creighton and O'Neill, there is no question that we are excited about the prospect of having executive leadership focused exclusively on Avera St. Anthony's Hospital,” said Deb Kelly, the chair of the Avera St. Anthony's Hospital Board of Directors. “Although this process has taken turns that resulted in a longer search process than originally anticipated, we are confident that we are poised to find the right person to lead our health care ministry into the future.”


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