Article courtesy of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
An interview with President and CEO of Allina Health Dr. Penny Wheeler
The MSR sat down with Dr. Wheeler after learning about the role she and her organization played in helping to pull together 30 health service providers and stakeholders to make a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police on Memorial Day the providers agreed to adhere to a set of principles that would help guide their efforts to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
MSR: Give us a bit of information about your background. What in it led you to this moment where you are leading a large corporation that is taking a long look at what it can do to increase its diversity?
Wheeler: I am a physician by background after practicing for 20 years at Abbott Northwestern. I am surprised that I am leading the organization in which I was born. I love being a doctor.
Traditionally there have been terrible health inequities where health care is concerned. I was at the funeral of an African American who had died at 36 of heart disease about 10 years ago. The person who was eulogizing him said that he felt erased by the health care system.
Ever since then that story has stuck with me. We are trying to do everything we can to eliminate health disparities and the systemic racism that they represent.
Read the full interview here.