Born and raised in Grand Forks, Brad Wehe began with Altru Health System in 1989. He has served in leadership positions since 1991 as Manager of Outreach Therapy Services and Occupational Medicine and then Administrative Director of Regional Operations. In 2011, he was named Altru’s Chief Operating Officer. This year, Brad became Altru’s Chief Executive Officer. As our leader, Brad will continue to move the bold new era forward in 2019 and beyond.
Recently, we sat down with Brad to get to know him better—as a successful executive, an engaged community member and a devoted family man.
Why did you choose to work in healthcare?
I enjoy interacting with people and wanted to have a job where I was positioned to help them. I chose physical therapy as it was hands on and people relied on you to help them regain their quality of life. Healthcare is fascinating, no story is the same, and patients invite you into some of the most turbulent, vulnerable times of their lives asking for help. No matter what your healthcare job is, you are a part of giving them hope and a successful outcome.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with multiple amazing teams inside and outside of Altru every day to drive world-class healthcare.
What is your educational background and career history?
I earned my bachelor’s of science in biology from Mayville State University. Then, I went on to Mayo Clinic to study physical therapy, followed by my Master’s and Doctorate degrees in PT from the University of North Dakota, MBA from Colorado State, and Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Can you tell us more about your family?
I was born and raised in Grand Forks. I’ve been married for 30 years to Marcia, a physical therapist and classmate of mine at Mayo Clinic. We have three kids: Kelsey (23), a graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a second-year Occupational Therapy student at UND; Karlee (19), a freshman at the University of Minnesota Duluth; and Matt (16), a junior at Red River High School. We also have two Labrador retrievers, Molly and Maggie.
What is your dream job?
Being a professional race car driver!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Any activity that happens with my family, fishing, hunting and skiing.
Who is your career mentor?
There are so many individuals that have influenced who I am, including family, friends and teammates in healthcare. I would say Mayo Clinic had one of the most profound impressions on me. While training there, the aspects of humility, kindness, respect, attention to detail, servant leadership and teamwork prevailed. Often, as a student, one of the best in the world would be working with or next to me, and I would watch them exhibit these six characteristics no matter what the situation was. I try to accomplish this every day in my life.
If you had an extra hour every day, what would you spend it doing?
Hanging out with Marcia and the kids or working out.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
There’s no single moment; it is a series of many moments strung together that is forming my journey!
Describe your typical workday.
It starts early, and before I get to the office, I try to exercise with Anthony Morando and team at our Sports Advantage facility. Part of that routine is thinking of someone or something I am grateful for that day. Then it’s Starbucks and hit the day running with a schedule full of people, presentations and meetings! At the day’s end, I head home for dinner with Marcia and whatever kid is hungry and wants to eat with us, hanging out with our two dogs, maybe run errands, do some reading and sleep. 😊
Four words that describe you?
Focused, driven, team player, fun (at least I think so!).
What advice would you give to someone just starting their career?
Be flexible. Take time to understand others. Be curious. Watch for opportunities and don’t be fearful of heading a different direction. Surround yourself with good people—both personally and professionally.
What excites you most about Altru’s new era?
The boldness! Altru has always been an amazing organization with exceptionally great people. This is our time to shine, to succeed and do incredible things despite the turbulent healthcare environment.
To learn more about Altru’s executive leadership team, visit altru.org/leadership.