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Leadership team

  • The Executive Leadership Team sets strategies, monitors performance and oversees operational responsibilities throughout Allina Health.

    Penny Ann Wheeler photo

    Penny Wheeler

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Penny Wheeler, MD, is the president and chief executive officer of Allina Health. Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as the 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.

    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. She has presented nationally on Allina Health’s approach and success in quality advancement and outcomes-based quality payment models. Dr. Wheeler was named the 2012 Outstanding Health Care Executive, largely based on her ability to form internal and external care collaboratives and their impact on community health.

    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.

    Ric Magnuson

    Ric Magnuson

    Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

    Ric Magnuson is responsible for ensuring that Allina Health resources are deployed properly to enhance the quality, safety and effectiveness of the care Allina Health provides to our patients and communities.

    Mr. Magnuson also served as senior vice president, Finance and Treasury. In this role, he was responsible for treasury, financial accounting & reporting, real estate, tax, design & construction, logistics and materials management, purchasing and the project management office along with the responsibilities of the former vice president, Supply Chain Management role.

    Previously, Magnuson served Allina from 1987 to 2004 in a variety of financial leadership roles, including Chief Financial Officer for Mercy and Unity Hospitals and vice president of Finance and Operations at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. After leaving Allina in 2004, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Fletcher Allen HealthCare in Arlington, Vermont; Executive Vice President & Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Group Health, based in Seattle, Washington; and most recently as Chief Financial Officer of City of Hope, a $1.5 billion organization providing leading research around cancer and diabetes care services.

    Magnuson earned his bachelor's degree at Augsburg College in Minneapolis in accounting and finance and his master's degree at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.  

    Christine Bent 2015

    Christine (Chris) Bent

    Executive Vice President, Allina Health Group

    Christine Bent leads the Allina Health Group, responsible for integrating primary care, specialty care and clinical service line capabilities to better serve our patients.

    Earlier in her career, Bent was the chief operating officer of the Minneapolis Heart Institute® where, in conjunction with the physician president, she provided professional management to the 128-bed Heart Hospital within Abbott Northwestern Hospital and MHI®’s extensive outreach program. Her background is in physician practice management in both independent practices and integrated health care delivery systems.

    Bent graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and obtained her master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota.


    Ben Bache-Wiig

    Executive Vice President, Allina Health Group & Chief Clinical Officer

    Ben Bache-Wiig, MD, is executive vice president, Allina Health Group, and Allina Health Chief Clinical Officer (CCO).

    Prior to this role, he served as president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital and senior vice president of Allina Health's west region hospitals, which include Abbott Northwestern Hospital,  Abbott Northwestern - WestHealth, District One Hospital and New Ulm Medical Center. He also served as vice president of Medical Affairs at Abbott Northwestern Hospital from 2009 to 2011.

    Dr. Bache-Wiig was part of the North Clinic for 20 years as medical director, physician president and partner. He served as the chief of the Medicine Department at North Memorial Healthcare, on the board of directors for North Memorial and, for 10 years, on the Medica Board of Directors.   

    Dr. Bache-Wiig has been recognized several times by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine as one of the area's top physicians.  He completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, went to medical school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis.

    Robert Wieland photo

    Robert Wieland

    Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

    Robert Wieland, MD, serves as the organization's Chief Strategy Officer. He oversees Strategy and Business Development, marketing and communications and technology integration strategies, as well as the Allina Integrated Medical Network and affiliate strategy.  

    He was previously the executive leader for Home Care Services and Care Management. Wieland also served as the executive vice president of the Clinic and Community Division, providing oversight of 56 clinic sites and 863 physicians and advanced care practitioners. Earlier in his career, Wieland served as vice president of medical affairs at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. He also co-founded the Hospitalist Service at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and practiced as a hospitalist there for 12 years before turning his focus to health care leadership.

    Wieland earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed internal medicine training at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. He serves on the finance committee of the Allina Health Board of Directors, as well as the Advocate Physician Partners Board. 

    Sarah Criger photo

    Sara Criger

    Senior Vice President, North Region and President, Mercy Hospital

    Sara Criger is senior vice president – North Region, which includes Buffalo Hospital, Cambridge Medical Center, and Mercy Hospital. She is also the president of Mercy Hospital.

    Prior to joining Allina Health in 2012, held the position of vice president, HealthEast Care System and CEO, St. Joseph's Hospital, a 258-bed tertiary hospital. Criger also led HealthEast system responsibilities for cardiovascular, neurosciences and mental health service lines, as well as the HealthEast Medical Laboratories and HealthEast Hospice Care. She also served as vice president of ambulatory services, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and president of Fairview Ridges Hospital and Clinics.

    An active member of the community, Criger currently serves on the Minnesota Hospital Association Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, the Life Source Organ and Tissue Donation Board of Directors, the Minnesota National Guard Strategic Advisory Task Force, and is chair of the Life Source Finance Committee. Previously, she served as the 2012 chair of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Board, and as a member of the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, Minnesota Hospital Association Policy and Advocacy Committee, and the Twin Cities American Heart and Stroke Association Board.

    Criger holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Connecticut State University and a master's degree in health services administration from the University of St. Francis in Illinois. 

    Christine Webster Moore

    Christine Webster Moore

    Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer 

    Christine Moore leads the Human Resources function of Allina Health and is accountable for the organization's human resources and people strategies, which are critical to building and sustaining an engaged workforce committed to exceptional care and service. Her accountabilities include talent acquisition, management and succession planning, compensation and benefits, employee relations, leadership development and HR operations.

    Prior to joining Allina Health in 2015, Moore served as an executive HR leader at Ecolab and Best Buy. In addition to her HR experience, Moore has also held executive leadership roles overseeing business lines for Best Buy and Best She began her career at a management consulting agency.

    Moore earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Scripps College in Claremont, California, and she received her PhD in Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. She is on the board of the Montessori Center of Minnesota and is a volunteer in the Wayzata School District.

    Thomas O'Conner photo

    Thomas O'Connor

    Senior Vice President, East Region and President, United Hospital
    Interim Senior Vice President, West Region and Interim President, Abbott Northwestern Hospital

    Tom O'Connor is senior vice president – East Region, which includes Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, Regina Hospital, River Falls Area Hospital and United Hospital. He is also the president of United Hospital.

    O'Connor is also serving as interim senior vice president – West Region, which includes Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Abbott Northwestern - WestHealth, District One Hospital and New Ulm Medical Center. He is also the interim president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

    O'Connor began his career with Allina Health in 1997, with responsibility for eight rural hospitals as vice president of operations for Allina Regional Health Services.  In 2001, as corporate vice president of operations for Allina Health, he led the year-long administrative redesign and system wide financial improvement initiative necessitated by the Allina Health split with Medica Health Plan. He then served as president of St. Francis Regional Medical Center until 2007, when he began a five-year term as president of Mercy Hospital. Prior to his career at Allina Health, O’Connor served as chief operating officer of HCA Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee.

    O'Connor has master's degrees in health services administration and in business administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in economics/finance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

    Tim Sielaff, MD, PhD, FACS

    Timothy Sielaff, MD, PhD, FACS

    Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Specialty Care and Research

    Dr. Timothy Sielaff is the chief medical officer for Allina Health and the senior vice president for the Allina Health Group (AHG). He is responsible for advancing the quality agenda of Allina Health and clinically leading the 11 clinical service lines that make up the AHG.

    Tim has been a hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgeon for 15 years. He started his career at the University of Minnesota where he was a tenured associate professor. He came to Allina Health in 2005 to serve as the medical director of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute (VPCI) at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Dr. Sielaff developed the HPB program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital that is now a referral center for the five-state area. He advanced multidisciplinary cancer care to include 11 organ-specific programs, which are also regional referral centers for a variety of common, rare and complex cancers and clinical research. He has helped redesign the quality and research governance structures at Allina Health and has worked diligently to link clinical quality outcomes to finance value initiatives and clinical service lines.

    Tim graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (BS Psychology), the Medical College of Virginia (MD, AOA), and the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery (with a PhD in hepatocyte tissue engineering/bioartificial liver) surgery program. He completed a fellowship in HPB surgery and Liver Transplantation at the University of Toronto. He has been involved in a variety of leadership positions locally and nationally including serving on the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors, the Midwest Board of the American Cancer Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team Executive Committee. He also completed the Health Care MBA at the University of St. Thomas and the Advanced Training Program at Intermountain Health.

    Elizabeth Truesdell Smith photo

    Elizabeth Truesdell Smith, JD, MPH

    Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary to the Allina Health Board of Directors

    Elizabeth Truesdell Smith is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary to the Allina Health Board of Directors.  Truesdell Smith has been practicing law for 22 years and has served as in-house counsel for Allina Health since December 2000.   As general counsel, Truesdell Smith serves on the Executive Leadership Team and is the chief legal advisor to the health system and all of its operating units, subsidiaries, employees, boards and constituents.  She also is the senior executive responsible for clinical and enterprise risk management, insurance and emergency preparedness.  

    Prior to her appointment as general counsel, she held the position of vice president of the Allina Health Law Department medical-legal team where she focused her leadership and practice on the oversight and management of professional liability matters, patient care related advice and counsel, medical staff and privileging matters, corporate and clinical regulatory matters, clinical risk management and litigation arising out of patient care delivery disputes.  Before joining Allina Health, Truesdell Smith practiced as a trial lawyer for eight years with a focus on hospital and health law, medical professional liability and medical products liability litigation defense.

    Truesdell Smith received her juris doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1992 after earning a master’s degree in public health with a health law and bioethics concentration from Boston University School of Public Health in 1989. She has served on institutional review boards responsible for overseeing human subjects research for over a decade. She has worked in biomedical laboratory research at Harvard Medical School and in biomedical ethics at Boston City Hospital, Boston University School of Public Health and the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. She currently serves on the YWCA Board of Directors.