Interior hero background

Altru Health System Elects Three Board Members

Posted OnDecember 17, 2020

Grand Forks, N.D. – Altru Health System has elected three new community members to their Board of Directors. Karen Thingelstad, Laura Block, and Eric Halverson have joined the board this month.

Karen Thingelstad is the recently retired Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for Minnkota Power Cooperative in Grand Forks. She was the first female member of the executive staff in the cooperative’s history. A native of Northwood, N.D., Thingelstad holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of North Dakota and an associate degree in business administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is a certified public accountant. Karen is active in the community and currently serves on the Altru Health Foundation board, the UND Nistler College of Business and Public Administration advisory council, UND Alumni and Foundation board, and the UND Center of Innovation Student-Led Enterprises board. She was inducted into the UND Accountancy Hall of Fame in 2018.

Laura Block is the Associate Dean for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial and Operating Officer at the University of North Dakota’s (UND) School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). Block’s prior positions include Chief Financial Officer for the UND Foundation, Vice President for Bremer Trust, and Senior Tax Manager at Brady Martz, all in Grand Forks. She also served as an adjunct faculty member in the UND Accounting Department. Raised in North Dakota, Ms. Block earned her Bachelor of Accountancy and her Master of Business Administration from UND. She is a certified public accountant. She is currently an advisory member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation.

Eric Halverson is the Chief Executive Officer of Black Gold Farms. Raised on the farm in rural Forest River, ND, Eric earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural and bio-systems engineering from North Dakota State University. In 2014, Eric succeeded his father, Gregg, as CEO of Black Gold Farms. Eric has been active in the industry as a member of the Association of Agricultural Production Executives (AAPEX), where he was elected to serve as President in 2017. He has been on the board of Potatoes USA where he has held positions on the Executive Committee and the Administrative Committee. He currently chairs the Grower Shipper Board of United Fresh Produce Association. He also sits on the board of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association where he has served as the President. Altru’s Board of Directors is a volunteer board comprised of community members, Altru physicians, and Altru’s President and CEO. Currently, eleven individuals serve on the Board.

About Altru Health System

Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks, and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit