Board of Directors


TRUST Executive Committe


Christine (Chris) Bent, President

Christine (Chris) Bent, Secretary

As senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) at Prime Therapeutics, Christine Bent is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day PBM, clinical and contact center operations, operational planning and delivery.

Bent’s extensive background leading large, integrated health care provider systems gives Prime the expertise to create superior partnerships with physicians and other stakeholders to deliver patient-centered total drug management solutions.

Prior to joining Prime, Bent served 12 years in clinical and operations leadership roles, most recently as president, SVP of operations at Allina Health Group. In this role, she was responsible for the overall strategic, quality of care, financial, personnel and operational leadership of 1,200 employed primary and specialty care providers, integrated specialists and related sites of care. Earlier in her career, Bent held operational leadership roles at Atrius Health and Partners Community Health Inc., both in Massachusetts.

Bent earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in hospital and healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Bent serves on numerous boards, including Women’s Health Leadership TRUST (president), Mount Olivet Home, Careview Home and Day Services, and Lakewood Cemetery.

Allison O’Connor, Incoming President

Allison O’Connor, Secretary

Allison O’Connor is the VP of Strategy Integration at Lifesprk, a whole-person senior care services company in Minneapolis. In this role, Allison works across the businesses of Lifesprk to provide direction, drive results, and connect implementation and execution of the company strategy and goals. Her career has focused on consulting in the health care industry, first with Deloitte Consulting, working with global and national clients to locally as a Principal at Fathom Consulting. Allison has over 21 years of professional experience in financial and operational planning, and the last 17 years in healthcare.

Allison has held President/Chair roles for the Board of the American College of Healthcare Executives Minnesota Chapter, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and was Vice-Chair of the Board of Cedar Riverside People’s Center, a local FQHC. Allison is a Board member of the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region and member of the Women Business Leaders (WBL). Allison served on the inaugural year of the charitable Arts & Healing Board supporting Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Allison was awarded the Top Women in Finance award in 2012 by Finance & Commerce magazine.

Allison graduated at the top of her class in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Johnson School at Cornell University in New York. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Administration (BSBA) from the Daniels College of Business at Denver University as part of the Honors Program.

Kim Perry, Secretary

Kim Perry
Kim Perry is a director in the Healthcare Practice of West Monroe Partners, a full-service business and technology consultancy. At West Monroe, her primary responsibilities include helping clients develop successful strategies to achieve their goals across business process and technology. Kim works closely with her clients to understand their business objectives and coordinate project teams that bring the appropriate resources and methodologies to achieve successful outcomes. Kim’s health care industry expertise and business process experience broadens the strategic partnership West Monroe Partners can extend to its clients.

Prior to joining West Monroe Partners, Kim spent 14 years at Xerox Corporation, where she managed some of the largest client relationships. She spent 6 years focusing on the Healthcare Payer practice, helping her clients outsource back office processes to improve performance and reduce costs. These functions include claims, enrollment, contact center, outbound communications and recovery services. Kim has worked with many of the large national health insurance companies and the Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans.

Outside of her work at West Monroe, Kim serves as the Board Chair of Neighborhood HealthSource, a non-profit, multi-location, full service primary care clinic organized as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Additionally, she has been formally advising a woman led health care start-up, ClinicianNexus, for the last two years.

Rhoda Beaird, Treasurer

Rhoda Beaird, Treasurer

With more than 25 years of experience, Rhoda provides accounting and consulting services to entrepreneurial clients within multiple professional service industries, with a special focus in medical and dental practices. She listens carefully and learns the ins and outs of her clients’ businesses to help solve unique problems. She has extensive experience with compensation formula preparation and design, deferred compensation, income tax planning, tax return preparation, internal control structures, budgeting and analysis, accounting assistance, and payroll reporting and related issues.

Rhoda holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Dakota, and a Certificate in Advanced Health Care Management from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. In addition to her involvement on the TRUST, she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Minnesota Medical Group Managers Association; she chairs the Lurie Community Presence Committee.

Whether she is reading a book, going for a run or enjoying her flower garden, Rhoda prefers to be outside in her free time. She also loves spending time with her two daughters.

Leslie Bodell, Immediate Past President

Leslie Bodell, President Elect

Leslie Bodell is currently SVP of OptumRx Client Services & Pharmacy Benefit Management Operations for Optum, a $100B+ health services and innovations company. She is responsible for ensuring a high quality, end-to-end client experience with the OptumRx/Pharmacy Care business, from a client’s initial engagement through implementation and ongoing service delivery. In her role leading and transforming the account support and operations functions, she focuses on creating seamless linkages for clients, partnering closely with sales/account management, customer service, and other key touchpoints in the client lifecycle. She is also responsible for the OptumRx Audit functions including client audits, external audits and pharmacy network audits.

Prior to assuming the OptumRx leadership role in June 2018, Leslie built, transformed and operated a diverse set of Optum enterprise wide capabilities and operations, enabling operational effectiveness, business growth and transformation. Before joining Optum, Leslie spent 25 years in financial services at Ameriprise Financial and American Express, holding senior leadership roles in business operations, strategy, and Information Technology.

Leslie holds an undergraduate degree in Finance from Drake University, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is currently past President of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, a professional network of 500+ women in health care. The TRUST creates opportunities to network within the health care industry, offers programs and workshops designed to enhance leadership skills, provides educational offering and programs, and advances the health care careers of women.

Leslie lives in MN,and is married with two children.


TRUST Directors


Julie Dekker

Julie Dekker

Julie Dekker currently serves as the Director of Medical & Reimbursement Policy Value at Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota. In this role she is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of medical and reimbursement policies for commercial and Medicare lines of business.

Julie has over 25 years’ experience in health care, which include holding the positions of Director of Faculty Practice and Partnerships at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, and as the Vice President, Operations for Fulcrum Health (formerly known as Chiropractic Care of Minnesota, Inc.).

Dekker belongs to health care industry and philanthropic organizations such as Women’s Health Leadership TRUST (which she joined in 2009) and Women Business Leaders of the US. She also has a broad range of volunteer experience with organizations such as Wooddale Church’s Women’s Ministry Leadership Team, First Step Initiative, MORE, the Omicron Omicron Alumni Chapter Board of Alpha Chi Omega, where she served three years as Treasurer.

Dekker received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Tampa and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida.

Amy Dewane

Amy Dewane

Amy Dewane is the Vice President of Care System Growth and Partnerships at HealthPartners. Responsible for leading and facilitating the development and execution of an enterprise-wide care group growth strategy, Amy has a broad range of strategic growth responsibilities including care delivery growth and market development, growth planning and analysis, and strategic partnerships and collaborations. By providing overall strategic direction, critical thinking and guidance to make sound business decisions, she brings value to the forefront matching organizational capabilities to opportunities of all kinds, while aligning with the organization’s objectives and mission.

Prior to joining HealthPartners in 2015, Amy led the development and deployment of strategic growth priorities for CHI, a national Catholic health care system, based in Denver, and for Aurora Health Care, a regional health care delivery system in Wisconsin.

Amy graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, with a Masters of Business Administration and holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Marketing from the same university. She is a Certified Healthcare Insurance Executive (CHIE) through AHIP, Kellogg School of Management (at Northwestern) and holds a Fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Executives, (FACHE).

With a passion to elevate the “the voice of the customer” and the advancement of women in leadership, Amy is a Board Member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, serving on the Governance, Forum (Chair), and Strategic Marketing committees. Amy also serves as a Hospital board member for Westfield’s Hospital, Olivia Hospital and Clinics, and St. Francis Regional Medical Center. Previously, Amy has served as the chair for community boards such as the Manitowoc Two Rivers YMCA and for Women in Management, a Wisconsin statewide nonprofit professional development association for women.

Heidi Dieter

Heidi Dieter

Heidi L. Dieter currently holds the position of Department Chair of Research Administration for Mayo Clinic. In this role she serves as the administrative partner to Dr. Greg Gores, Executive Dean for Research, to advance the Research mission and strategic priorities of Mayo Clinic. Together, they drive efforts to transform the practice through the discovery-translation-application continuum, addressing the unmet needs of patients.

Prior to joining Research Administration, Heidi served as the associate administrator for the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. In this role, Ms. Dieter, in partnership with Andrew H. Limper, M.D., led all aspects of the center, which is designed to be an innovative driver of change for Mayo Clinic through developing, analyzing and rapidly diffusing solutions for the transformation of health care.

Previously, Ms. Dieter served as vice chair for Research Administrative Services in Rochester and the Midwest, where she oversaw the research activities of more than 800 investigators. Ms. Dieter also provided direct oversight of all clinical research operations, enterprise-wide, including the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Ms. Dieter began her career at Mayo Clinic in 2007 in the Department of Development supporting fundraising efforts for research. She then joined Research Administrative Services as an operations administrator for multiple departments, including Anesthesiology, Rheumatology, Emergency Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Pharmacy. She subsequently took on a hybrid role as an operations administrator supporting research and the clinical practice in the Department of Urology.

Ms. Dieter has a strong interest in developing young leaders. This has led to her current and previous roles as the executive sponsor for the eMERGing Leaders — a Mayo Clinic employee resource group (MERG) focused on young leaders — and administrator for Leadership and Workforce Development for the institution.

Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Ms. Dieter spent 10 years as an administrator in long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living communities around the country. She was also founder and served as president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, a national organization with a mission to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.

Ms. Dieter received her Masters of Business Administration and Certificate in Health Services Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Illinois.

Monica Engel

Monica Engel

As senior vice president and president of government markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Monica Engel is responsible for the organization’s government health program business which includes Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employee and Individual market segments.

Engel has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry and was named one of the 2019 Women in Business honorees by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. In addition to her current experience in leading government health care, she has deep experience in leading Public Sector, Taft Hartley union, and commercial business. Engel was instrumental in leading the organization through the challenges of the affordable care act and helping to guide Minnesota Seniors navigate the federally mandated sunset of Medicare Cost plans. She continually seeks to identify new and emerging opportunities brought about by industry change, including leading the way to creation of the first health insurance retail centers in Minnesota, which continue to be a valuable resource for Minnesotans.

Engel holds a degree in business management and studied strategic leadership at the Kellogg School of Management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a former president of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, an active member of Women Business Leaders and a board member for the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award. In 2020, the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST honored her with the Jean Harris Award, which is presented to a member who advances health care and exemplifies the TRUST’s vision to create healthier communities by realizing women’s leadership potential.

Melissa Fors

Melissa Fors

Melissa Fors joined Hazelden Betty Ford in 2013 where she leads the strategic marketing functions, which includes brand strategy, digital strategy, thought leadership, marketing operations and customer relationship management.

In 2019 Melissa was named Nonprofit Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association. The award, which recognizes one national nonprofit marketer annually for extraordinary leadership and achievement, is the highest honor bestowed on nonprofit marketing professionals by the AMA and its Foundation. In 2020, Melissa was the recipient of the Women's Health Leadership TRUST Award. The TRUST Awards celebrate Minnesota women and companies that are helping the

healthcare industry advance boldly into the future.

Prior to joining Hazelden Betty Ford, Melissa was at UnitedHealth Group's Optum in a number of marketing leadership roles for five years.

Melissa has an MBA in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and a BA from the University of Minnesota. Melissa is a board member of the American Lung Association in Minnesota and Asbury Communities based in Maryland.

Mary Jacobs

Mary Welsh

Mary Jacobs is Director of The Center for Sales Innovation at St Kate’s. She oversees the Business to Business and Healthcare Sales degree programs and is also a facilitator for the Sales Executive Forum and professional development classes for women professionals offered through the center. She has worked at St Kate’s since 2013.

Mary teaches courses on Sales, Ethics and Integrity in Selling, Customer Intelligence and Social Entrepreneurship.

She has her BA in Public Administration from University of St Thomas and her Master’s in Organizational Leadership from St Kate’s.

Mary has been a sales leader for several years, leading teams of sales professionals working with large Fortune 500 companies. Mary worked for Northwest Airlines/Delta for 19 years and has lived in Boston, Detroit and Seattle before moving back to the Twin Cities and starting her own sales training business. She also worked at Deluxe for two years.

She has years of experience working with women entrepreneurs and with a focus on women who are transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. She started The Women’s Excelerator several years ago and educates and consults with women entrepreneurs on how to sell and develop strategy for growth and sustainability.

Mary is an experienced mentor and workshop facilitator and has also been a SCORE counselor for 14 years and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs.

She presents on the topic “Closing the Confidence Gap-Getting Comfortable Selling Yourself” to corporate audiences and at leadership conferences.

Joy King

Joy King

Joy King is Chief Advancement Officer of Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program and Executive Director of Be The Match Foundation. Joining the team in 2016, Joy’s primary role is to shape the foundation’s strategy, advance our brand and aid in overall direction of the organization. Her philanthropic work aids Be The Match in ensuring patients get the cellular therapy they need when they need it, helps patients live longer healthier lives, and offers hope for a cure to thousands more patients in need of cellular therapy.

Joy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tarleton State University, is a member of several Minneapolis based and nationally recognized women leadership organizations, a board member for Be The Match Mexico, a board member of Women's Health Leadership TRUST, as well as a member of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Joy has also been recognized by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journals as a 2015 Women in Business.

Genevieve Melton-Meaux

Genevieve Melton-Meaux

Genevieve Melton-Meaux is a Professor of Surgery and Core Faculty of the Institute for Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Genevieve's professional career brings together a unique combination of informatics, data science, and IT expertise; surgery; clinical and operational leadership; and research. She is a practicing surgeon and serves as Chief Analytics and Care Innovation Officer for Fairview Health Services, developing and maturing Fairview's programs and strategies for population health, care variation reduction, and precision medicine. In leading enterprise informatics, data technology, and analytics, Genevieve's teams improve health information technology design, usability, and use for front line clinicians, leaders, and patients and strive to transform the organization to be "data-driven": to effectively use data, analytics and its other derivatives for improved decision-making. She co-leads the UMN Clinical natural language processing-information extraction (NLP-IE) Research Group and serves as President-elect for the American College of Medical Informatics.

Diane Nanstad

Diane Nanstad

Diane Nanstad joined Cerner’s Population Health Strategy Executive team in January 2019. Diane Nanstad focuses on clients' population health and value-based care strategies to help them create value, maximize growth and improve their business performance.

She is in an advisory relationship role that can leverage the strength of the broader Population Health team and client experience in clinical integration, care model transformation, consumer strategy, physician alignment, payer contracting strategy, regulatory programs, organizational readiness and business model shift.

Prior to joining Cerner, she has held roles with companies such as: Program Director, Premier Applied Sciences, Premier, Inc., where she worked with academic hospitals and life science companies on their health care data and research needs. Product Manager, Corporate Healthcare Solutions, Boston Scientific. She worked with multiple divisions to identify population health and value-based care product strategies for current and future products.

Diane has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Salem State University; and a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising and Business from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

Diane has been an active member and Membership Committee member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST since 2012. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for the ACHE-MN (American College of Healthcare Executives, Minnesota Chapter) since 2016. She has chaired the Events Committee and currently leads networking and special projects. Diane is also a member of Minnesota HIMSS, where she has served on the Programming Committee.

Lori Nelson

Lori Nelson

Lori Nelson is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years in the industry. She has held key leadership roles at a variety of organizations including Preferred One, Fairview, BCBSMN, Buckeye Health plan, and currently at Medica. She is currently serving as the SVP, Provider Strategy and Network Management. In this role, Lori oversees all Provider relationships, contracting and provider operations. Prior to her time at Medica, she spent time with Buckeye Health Plan, a Centene plan, as the Chief Operating Officer. In this role she managed operations, quality, health services, provider relations, pharmacy and health economics. She was also responsible for execution against the strategic plan. In addition to her time at work, Lori also has a passion for developing leaders through her multi-year mentorship relationships. Lori also enjoys spending time with her family, has a passion for baking and spending time outdoors taking long walks.

Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson

As vice president and general manager of federal programs at Prime Therapeutics (Prime), Rachel Nelson is responsible for the growth and profitability of Prime’s Medicare and Federal Employees Program lines of business. In this role, Rachel leads cross functional teams to meet all regulatory, client and Prime business requirements. She works closely with clients, industry trade associations and the Prime strategy team to understand and interpret our client operating and innovation needs. She leads the development and delivery of Prime’s daily/monthly operations, annual operating plan and three-year strategic plan through the implementation of a management cadence and environment that leads to high levels of team performance.

Since joining Prime in 2000, Nelson has held numerous positions, including vice president of government programs, senior director of client engagement and senior director of business integrations. Previously, Nelson held several positions at Express Scripts. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Jennifer Olson

Jennifer Olson

Jennifer Olson is the senior vice president of system operations, and the chief strategy officer at Children’s Minnesota, where she’s been honored to serve pediatric patients and families for over 18 years. In her role, Jennifer oversees strategic planning, partnerships, innovation, marketing and communications, provider outreach, organizational planning and analytics, and human resources; she also provides strategic and operational oversight of the Mother Baby Fetal, Cardiovascular and Neurosciences Institutes.

Previous to her current role at Children’s, Jennifer served in roles as the vice president of strategy, business development, and innovation, as well as the vice president of operations for The Mother Baby clinical service line (a collaboration between Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health). Early in her career, Jennifer held roles with Deloitte Consulting and the University of Wisconsin Health System.

Jennifer currently serves as the Chair of the March of Dimes board for the Twin Cities market. She holds board positions with the International Society for Pediatric Innovation (iSPI), and the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. She is a member of the Minnesota ACHE chapter and the Society for Health Care Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD).

Joy Plamann

Joy Plamann

Joy Plamann, DNP, MBA, RN, BC, is Senior Vice President for Central Operations and President for St. Cloud Hospital. Ms. Plamann started her career with CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital in 1994. She has previously served in the roles of Vice President Acute Care/St. Cloud Hospital Chief Nursing Officer, Section Director, Hospital Medicine, Care Center Director, Department Director, Core Charge Nurse, Staff Development Nurse and Charge Nurse.

Ms. Plamann is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, the Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing, and other professional organizations. Among her awards are the Spirit of Advocacy Award from the Minnesota Hospital Association and the Emerging Leader in Health Care Award from the Women's Health Leadership TRUST. Ms. Plamann is currently serving on the Quiet Oaks Hospice House Board and is the Co-Chair of the Leaders in Giving Cabinet for the United Way.

Ms. Plamann received her BSN from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a HealthCare MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Health System and Executive Leadership.

Lisa Saul

Mary Welsh

Dr. Lisa Saul is the President of the Mother Baby Clinical Service Line at Allina Health. She joined Allina Health in 2004 after completing a fellowship in maternal- fetal medicine. She is responsible for clinical operations of the perinatal, obstetric, midwifery, and urogynecology practices; leads quality improvement; facilitates care model improvements for those patients at highest risk; and program/service developments that improve the health of our community and address care disparities. In addition to her role as president, Lisa works as a perinatologist with Minnesota Perinatal Physicians for the last fifteen years.

Lisa is a California native who received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Diego, and her OB/GYN Residency at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. A fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of California, Irvine completed Lisa’s medical training. Lisa received her MBA in 2017 from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Lisa has been married to Marc Paylor for 16 years, and has two children, ages 10 and 14.

Rajni Shah

Mary Welsh

Dr. Rajni Shah is the Head of Client and Clinical Affairs for MyMeds, a Minnesota-based digital health company that is redefining the medication experience through real-time data exchange. She leads all engagement and partnership efforts with clients, integration partners and research institutions.

An optometrist by training, Dr. Shah previously was the Regional Director of Eye Care for Luxottica Retail, overseeing Pearle Vision’s 5-state Midwest Region. Prior to that, she conducted FDA and new product clinical trials at CIBA Vision in Atlanta.

Since moving to Minnesota in 2007, Rajni has been dedicated to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul community. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA-Greater Twin Cities where she is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Committee. Recently, she helped design and launch the YMCA Equity Innovation Center, which focuses on innovative ways to change perceptions about equity and create lasting change in local and national communities.

In addition, she is a member of the Board of Governors of the Minneapolis Club where she chairs the Family Committee and is on the Strategy Committee. She is also involved with the Women’s Health Leadership Trust and serves on the Programming Committee. Previously, she was a Director of Marnita’s Table and Social Capital and a volunteer for ACES and MicroGrants.

Rajni lives in Downtown Minneapolis with her husband and 7-year old twin daughters.

Mary Welsh

Mary Welsh

Mary Welsh is Vice President, Chief Security Officer, for UnitedHealth Group, the most diversified health care company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnetonka, Minn., is 5th on the Fortune 500 and has more than 300,000 employees.

She previously served as director of the Global Security function at St. Jude Medical. Prior to joining St. Jude Medical, Ms. Welsh served in the Federal U.S. Government, which included several international assignments in Europe and Southeast Asia. While working on national security issues, Ms. Welsh acquired a deep understanding of foreign government and business cultures, developed expertise in security and crisis management, and established a global network of government and private sector contacts in the security industry.

Ms. Welsh joined the Board of Directors for the Women's Health Leadership TRUST in 2014. She is also on the executive board of the Twin Cities Security Partnership, a private-public partnership between law enforcement, government agencies, and private industry which promotes a stronger, safer Twin Cities community. In addition, Ms. Welsh serves as a community advisor to the internationally recognized Pediatric Pain, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Ms. Welsh holds a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and completed the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.