SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Avera has announced President and CEO Bob Sutton has decided to step down due to a recently diagnosed medical condition that requires an intensive treatment regimen.

“While we are saddened by Bob’s impending departure from the organization, we are inspired by the humble and courageous decision he has made. We respectfully request Bob’s privacy with his condition and hold the Sutton family in prayer,” said Sr. Roxanne Seifert, Avera System Members Chairperson.

According to a news release announcing the change, Avera has opened numerous building projects and completed renovations in communities across Avera’s 72,000-square-mile footprint under Sutton’s leadership.

Prior to becoming the President and CEO, he served as Avera’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources. He has been with Avera since 2013, serving as Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre and Senior Vice President of Community Relations.

“During my years at Avera, I have met colleagues who turned into lifelong friends. We have the finest people changing lives each day with the care and services we provide. It has been an honor to lead this rural health system. Although I am sad to step away, I know that Avera’s tremendous leadership team and the guidance of our Sponsors will ensure this ministry will be successful long into the future,” said Sutton.

Sutton is married to Lori, his wife of 32 years. They have two children.

An executive search firm is being retained and a national search will start in the coming months for the next leader of the Avera Health system.

Sutton’s last day at Avera will be September 30.