50 Most Influential Physician Executives – 2016
President and CEO, Allina Health
Dr. Penny Wheeler is no stranger to high-profile appointments. Wheeler, 57, was named CEO of Minneapolis-based Allina Health in 2015 after serving as the system's president and chief clinical officer for the prior two years. Within months of her promotion, Minnesota's governor asked Wheeler to serve on a task force to review the state's healthcare financing and access. The CEO, one of seven women on this year's ranking, did not hesitate to describe affordability and quality as among healthcare's most pressing issues during an interview with Minnesota Public Radio last July. "I would say that the way to lower healthcare costs is actually, quite frankly, to make healthcare better," she said. "I think every industry has learned, and we're maybe slower to learn, that if you make care consistently better, you make it more effective, you make it more efficient, you make it more affordable."