Altru Health System will embark on its new hospital construction under new leadership.

Altru announced Thursday that CEO Dave Molmen has announced his retirement and will be stepping down from his position at the end of this year. The board of directors of the health system already has chosen Molmen's replacement in Brad Wehe, who currently serves as Altru chief operating officer.

Wehe's appointment to CEO will begin Jan. 1, 2019, according to an Altru press release.

A statement from Altru board Chair Kris Compton said Wehe is a "dynamic leader who understands all dimensions of the health care landscape."

The release describes Altru's plan for the future, which includes building a $250 million-plus hospital complex on its campus at 1200 S. Columbia Road in Grand Forks, as the system's "New Era," a concept that includes new and improved facilities, medical technology and service provision. That plan came together with Molmen at the helm.

Like Wehe now, Molmen was also formerly Altru COO before being promoted at the start of 2008. Molmen was in that earlier position to oversee the formation of Altru Health System after the 1997 merger of Grand Forks Clinic and United Hospital.

According to the Altru release, aside from his work at the health system, Molmen is also a member of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.