Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis, unveiled a $100 million Center for Health Innovation that will target public health and healthcare quality. The 11-hospital system will invest $10 million annually for five years and said the remaining $50 million will be raised from donors and grants. Dick Pettingill, outgoing president and chief executive officer of Allina, said that the health system established the center in response to calls for more aid from Allina, which receives tax breaks as a not-for-profit, to control healthcare spending, improve community health and provide other community benefits.
The center has no chief executive yet, and Allina will finalize its governance in December, said Pettingill, who will retire by the end of 2009. However, the center has identified three inaugural projects. It will target cardiovascular disease in New Ulm, Minn. Nearly nine out of 10 residents seek care at Allinas 45-bed New Ulm Medical Center, the system said, which will allow Allina researchers to use electronic health record data to target the disease. The system will also seek to improve health in two diverse Twin Cities neighborhoods where Allina operates an acute-care hospital and its headquarters. Allina will also create a patient-safety center that Pettingill said will focus on research and outcomes that do not duplicate existing efforts and can be shared across the country. -- by Melanie Evans