Penny Wheeler, MD, is chief executive officer of Allina Health and has announced plans to transition out of the role on Dec. 31 2021. Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as president and chief clinical officer of Allina Health, responsible for leading the organization’s quality and value agenda through alignment of the clinical and operational leadership to optimally benefit those served by Allina Health. A board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Wheeler served patients at Women’s Health Consultants in Minneapolis, was the 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 continues to set the overall strategic direction for Allina Health, ensuring the organization delivers exceptional care and supports the health and well-being of all those served.
Under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership, Allina Health has sharpened its focus on serving those who have not always been well-served by a health care system. This includes individuals with disabilities through the creation of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute; those with mental illness and addiction issues through significant investments in Allina Health’s mental health capabilities; and those who face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity through Allina Health’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
Dr. Wheeler serves on a variety of local and national Boards. She is currently Chairing the American Hospital Association’s Health Systems Council; and serves on the Boards for NRC Health and Cedar, an organization that eases the strain of financial billing for those served. Locally, Dr. Wheeler serves on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Business Partnership, Medical Alley, the University of Minnesota Foundation, St. Thomas University Board of Trustees, and Portico Healthnet, an organization dedicated to helping uninsured Minnesotans receive affordable health coverage and care.
Dr. Wheeler was recently recognized as a Luminary by Modern Health Care for her multiple appearances on their top 25 Women Leaders in Health Care list. In addition, she received an award as one of the 100 most influential people in health care and was recognized as one of the 50 most influential clinical executives.
Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate of medicine degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School.