Penny Wheeler, MD, became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Allina Health in 2015. She had served as Chief Clinical Officer since 2006, and President since 2013. A board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Wheeler served patients at Women’s Health Consultants in Minneapolis, and has served as president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s medical staff, chaired the Allina Health Quality Committee and served on the Allina Health Board of Directors.
Dr. Wheeler sets the overall strategic direction for Allina Health, focusing on ensuring that the organization delivers exceptional care to the communities it serves, while continuously innovating in areas such as care coordination and navigation, the use of advanced data analytics in support of chronic disease management and prevention, and partnering with payers to accelerate the industry shift to value-based reimbursement.
Dr. Wheeler has championed many initiatives within Allina Health designed to enhance triple-aim performance, including the creation of Allina Health’s clinical service line model, which helps ensure patients across a wide range of specialties consistently receive the right care at the right place at the right time. She recently created the Allina Health Group, which brought together all of Allina Health’s specialty and primary care services to achieve the highest possible levels of care coordination and seamless transitions for patients. Under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership, Allina Health has also sharpened its focus on serving those who have not always been well-served by the health care system, including the disabled, through the creation of the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, those with mental illness and addiction issues, through significant investments in Allina Health’s mental health capabilities, and those at the end of life, through LifeCourse, a learning laboratory focused on helping patients in the last few years of life focus on what matters most.
In addition to her current role, Dr. Wheeler chairs the Minnesota Community Measurement board, a regional health quality collaborative, and is on the board of Portico Healthnet, an organization dedicated to helping uninsured Minnesotans receive affordable health coverage and care. Dr. Wheeler also is on board of the Greater Twin Cities United Way and Health Catalyst. In July 2015, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton appointed Dr. Wheeler to the Taskforce for Health Care Financing. She has presented nationally on Allina Health’s approach and success in quality advancement and outcomes-based quality payment models. Minnesota Business magazine named Dr. Wheeler the 2012 Outstanding Health Care Executive, largely based on her ability to form internal and external care collaboratives and their impact on community health. And, in 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine recognized Dr. Wheeler as one of the top 25 women in health care.
Allina Health is one of the nation’s leading health systems. The organization is made up of 14 hospitals, 90+ clinics, 26,000+ employees and several related health care service companies including home health, hospice, transportation, medical equipment and retail pharmacy.