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Jacobson resigns as hospital CEO

Peter Jacobson has resigned as chief executive officer of Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls after just 15 months on the job.

The Lake Region Healthcare Board of Trustees and Jacobson announced the move Friday afternoon.

Jacobson, who joined LRH in January 2007, will be pursuing other opportunities in the health care industry or other leadership positions.

"We plan to stay in the Fergus Falls community," Jacobson said Friday afternoon.

Long-time hospital CFO and assistant administrator Ed Strand has been named acting administrator pending completion of a search for Jacobson's successor. The Board of Trustees will engage in a study to develop a process for identifying and hiring replacement hospital leadership.

Jacobson, whose last day of work was Friday, joined Lake Region Healthcare in January 2007 as CEO, replacing long-time CEO Ed Mehl. Prior to joining Lake Region Hospital, Jacobson served as CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital in Park Rapids.

"I appreciate the opportunity to work in the Fergus Falls medical community, and I've enjoyed the professional and personal relationships I've developed," Jacobson said. "I wish the best for Lake Region Hospital, its staff and its physicians."

Lake Region's board chairman, Steve Rufer, expressed appreciation on behalf of the hospital board for Jacobson's service to the hospital.

"We wish Peter the best of luck in his future endeavors," Rufer said. "Peter's dedication to the hospital and his energy and enthusiasm for the betterment of the health care community will be missed."

The hospital said the Board of Trustees and Jacobson plan to work together to effect a smooth and efficient transition of the hospital's leadership.

A native of Grand Forks, N.D., Peterson had family ties to Otter Tail County.

"I spent my summers at Otter Tail Lake," Peterson said when hired in January 2007. "As a child, I always thought Fergus Falls would be a great place to live."

The Jacobson family will have an opportunity to continue living in Fergus Falls. Jacobson's wife Ann is a pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. The couple has three children.

Under Jacobson's leadership Lake Region Hospital gained national attention. In August 2007 LRH was named among the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals in recognition of health care centers that improved the most from 2001 to 2005. Lake Region Hospital was also included in Thomson's top 20 small community hospitals in the United States.

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