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Aspirus St. Luke's Co-President Eric Lohn to Retire, Dr. Nick Van Deelen and Chris Johnson to be Promoted

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Eric Lohn, Co-President & CFO of St. Luke’s, has announced he will be retiring on April 12. With Lohn’s retirement, fellow Co-President Nicholas Van Deelen, MD, will be promoted to the role of sole President of St. Luke’s and of Aspirus Health’s Minnesota Region. Current VP of Strategy & Finance Chris Johnson will be promoted to Interim Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Van Deelen and Johnson will begin their new roles on April 15.

Lohn became Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at St. Luke’s in 2015 and was promoted to Co-President & CFO in 2021. He helped lead the system through significant milestones and achievements. Lohn helped secure financing to make numerous expansion projects possible, led St. Luke’s through many important financial initiatives, and navigated St. Luke’s through the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am beyond grateful for the privilege to have been part of this organization and work with so many talented, mission-driven coworkers through the years. St. Luke’s is a very special place, and I am proud to have helped our affiliation with Aspirus Health. Aspirus is another incredible organization that shares our values and culture, and this affiliation is absolutely the right thing for our communities,” Lohn said. “The timing is right for me personally, and while it was a difficult personal decision, I know a strong leadership team is in place at St. Luke’s and great things are ahead.”

With Lohn’s retirement, Dr. Van Deelen and Johnson bring familiarity and experience to their new roles as sole President and Interim Chief Operating Officer, respectively.

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"I want to express my gratitude to Eric for his exceptional leadership and support during our affiliation process and for his contributions in building a strong foundation at St. Luke’s over the last decade,” said Aspirus Health President and CEO Matt Heywood. “I also want to thank Dr. Van Deelen and Chris for their past contributions and for stepping into these larger roles. I am confident they and our entire team of leaders will guide us through the integration process and drive continued enhancements that will benefit Duluth and the surrounding communities.”

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Dr. Van Deelen joined St. Luke’s as an emergency medicine physician more than 25 years ago. In 2020 he was promoted to Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs. Then in 2021, he was promoted to Co-President/CEO, along with Lohn.

Johnson joined St. Luke’s in 2012 as Controller and Director of Finance. In 2021, he was promoted to Vice President of Strategy & Finance.

Aspirus and St. Luke’s have been working diligently since the affiliation to initiate the integration process that will unfold over the coming months.