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Altru Health System, Essentia Health to collaborate with City of Devils Lake, Spirit Lake Nation on state-of-the-art medical campus

Posted OnOctober 19, 2022

Altru Health System, Essentia Health, the City of Devils Lake and Spirit Lake Nation are excited to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore the development of a new, state-of-the-art medical campus in Devils Lake.

The signing will occur at a 10:30 a.m. news conference today in the Chautauqua Gallery on the campus of Lake Region State College. Dignitaries expected to attend and speak during the signing include U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, as well as Tom Brusegaard from U.S. Senator John Hoeven’s office. Also delivering remarks will be Essentia CEO Dr. David Herman; Altru President Dr. Josh Deere; Devils Lake Mayor Jim Moe; and Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Doug Yankton.

Altru and Essentia both have a history of serving rural populations, which demonstrates our belief that everyone deserves access to expert healthcare close to home. The prospect of working alongside trusted and community-focused partners in the City of Devils Lake and Spirit Lake Nation is energizing.

“Collaborating on a transformational public-private partnership such as this, which will improve health outcomes throughout the Lake Region, is a terrific opportunity for us to advance our mission of making a healthy difference in people’s lives,” said Essentia West Market President Dr. Bill Heegaard.

“Altru is deeply committed to the Lake Region and to improving care for the residents we serve,” shared Altru CEO Todd Forkel. “This collaborative approach and a focus on high-quality, patient-first care is the right path forward for the future of healthcare in Devils Lake. We are proud to work alongside Essentia, the City of Devils Lake and Spirit Lake Nation to advance these efforts.”

Today’s LOI signing is the first significant step in this process. Altru, Essentia, the City of Devils Lake and Spirit Lake Nation will now work together to define the scope of the project and how we can best enhance access to sustainable, patient-centered, high-quality care for the area.

There is not yet a firm timeline for construction of the project, but we look forward to seeking input and engaging the community as we move forward. We will share more details as they become available.


There will not be a press conference-style question-and-answer session. However, individual media interviews will be possible following the program. Also on hand for those interviews will be Essentia’s Dr. Heegaard and Altru’s Forkel.


Louie St. George III (Essentia):, (218) 260-6557

Ken Harvey (Altru):, (701) 780-1514

Spencer Halvorson (Devils Lake):, (701) 662-7600, Ext. 222

Doug Yankton (Spirit Lake Nation):, (701) 766-4221

About Altru Health System

Based in Grand Forks, N.D., Altru Health System is an independent, non-profit healthcare organization. We are physician-led, with over 300 providers and 55 specialties of care. Altru boasts an acute care hospital, specialty hospital, level II trauma center and more than two dozen practice locations throughout northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota. Altru was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic expertise to the patients we serve. Altru employs over 3,600 staff and providers who are empowered to fulfill Altru’s vision of providing world-class care to the residents of our region. For more information, visit

About Essentia Health

Essentia Health’s mission is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. We relentlessly pursue that mission at our 14 hospitals, 77 clinics, six long-term care facilities, three assisted living facilities, three independent living facilities, six ambulance services and one research institute. Essentia has about 15,000 employees, including 2,200 physicians and advanced practitioners who provide expert, compassionate care. We’re privileged to serve patients in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. For more information, visit