2020 TRUST Awards
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TRUST Forum Awards

Congratulations to Our 2020 Award Recipients!

Collaboration and Partnerships:

This award honors women who are building partnerships within an organization or forging collaborative external relationships that address a common goal where both parties benefit.

Rebecca Egbert
The Mother Love

Learn more about Rebecca...

Rebecca Egbert has spent nearly 20 years working to reform women’s and postpartum healthcare in the U.S. In her research she has explored how collaborative care models between providers can improve maternal mortality and health outcomes. She actively investigates the roles that wellness and access to care play in transforming behavioral changes in a woman’s health. Egbert is the founder and CEO of The Mother Love, a Minneapolis-based startup that aims to deliver high-quality access to healthcare, wellness, and health literacy for women and parents. She loves keeping up with the fast-pace of FemTech and FamTech ecosystems and speaks regularly on their current states. Her nominator notes that Rebecca is building an ecosystem where the health of a mother and the community that surrounds and cares for her are the top priority, growing with her as she ages.

Seanne Falconer, MBA, FACHE
The Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota

Learn more about Seanne...

Seanne Falconer, MBA, FACHE, has been the Executive Director and Associate Cancer Center Director for Administration for the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota since 2014. She holds a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Yale University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has previously led the Harvard Catalyst Clinical Research Centers Program at Harvard Medical School, served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova, and worked for General Mills, Inc. in corporate finance. She is active in the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, Women Business Leaders in Healthcare and was elected to the Wayzata School Board in November 2019. According to her nominator, Seanne and her team applied for and won a Grant funded by the MN legislature as part of the University of Minnesota's MnDRIVE Program, in partnerships between the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, the Hormel Institute, and three National Community Oncology Research Programs (Essentia Health, Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium, and Sanford Health).

Rachael Lesch
CentraCare Clinic

Learn more about Rachael...

Rachael Lesch began her career with CentraCare Health in 2009, leading the Quality Improvement function of CentraCare Clinic.  Her role expanded to include responsibilities for responsibility for improving the health of populations through broad activities grounded in the Triple Aim. These include promotion of population wellness and evidenced-based healthcare delivery across the continuum of services and lifecycle of health as a cornerstone to the CentraCare Health and Central Minnesota Health Network value-based care strategy – with value defined as the outcomes achieved for the costs expended. Her nomination notes that for over 10 years, Rachael and her team have collaborated with 100+ community partners to improve health equity by making it a systemwide strategic priority and investing in the right resources, infrastructure, and programs in our communities.

Teddie Potter
School of Nursing, University of Minnesota

More about Teddie

Teddie Potter PhD, RN, FAAN coordinates the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership. She is the Executive Editor for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies; a peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal promoting interdisciplinary collaboration as a solution for solving society’s grand challenges. She co-authored the award winning book, Transforming Interprofessional Partnerships: A New Framework for Nursing and Partnership-Based Health Care. This book equips nurses to be full partners, ready to lead necessary change to advance the health of all nations. She has recently been appointed the Director of Planetary Health which is responsible for promoting cross-sector partnerships to ensure a healthier future for all. Her nominator notes that Her committed efforts and creative work in health care collaboration and partnerships is based on the foundation that equity advances the health of individuals and populations, supports sustainability, and fosters creativity which promotes meaning and joy for health professionals.


Health and Well-being:

This award honors a woman who advances the health and well-being of individuals, organizations and communities.

Dr. Jokho Farah
People's Center Clinics & services

Learn more about Dr. Jokho...

Dr. Jokho Farah trained as a general surgeon but later developed a passion for primary care and quality improvement. Dr. Farah has over ten years of experience in healthcare management, public health, and policy. She is a connector of people and services. Using data analytics and predictive modeling capabilities, she establishes integrated approaches to care management that support the alignment of services across the continuum of care for priority populations. In addition, Dr. Farah helps federal, state, and local agencies identify strategies to address health equity issues using policy, systems, and environmental lens. Dr. Farah’s nominator states that Dr. Farah has helped her clinic reduce Emergency Department visits, inpatient admissions, pharmacy costs and racial disparities for diabetes and hypertension patients. 

Gail Tully
Spinning Babies

Learn more about Gail...

Gail Tully is a Midwife with a professional training called Spinning Babies. Thousands of nurses and midwives learn to jiggle, hang, and sift muscles of the pelvis and position the mother to let baby slip out. The common cesarean is a life saver. but as a lifestyle, common use increases the maternal death rate in high resource nations. Nurses worldwide now have natural solutions to complex childbirth. SpinningBabies.com was visited by 7 million people last year. Gail's grassroots efforts put her among the 1.7% of women's businesses, but Gail's greatest success is reducing maternal and infant death around the world. Her nomination notes that in Minnesota alone, Gail has trained hundreds of birth workers including 8 Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educators, 17 Practitioners. Spinning Babies® trainers have taught Gail’s workshop to over 14,000 birth workers in over 50 countries.

Fang Yu
The University of Minnesota

Learn more about Fang...

Yu received her BS from Peking University, PhD from Penn, and post-doctoral training from Penn State. She is the Professor and Chair of the Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative, University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of the America and American Academy of Nursing. Yu’s proliferative research focus on developing exercise and cognitive interventions to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Yu and colleagues published The Alzheimer's Rx: Aerobic Exercise (Use the Approach AD S.A.F.E.ly™ Protocol to Engage Purposefully), and developed the FIT-AD™ Certificate Program to increase exercise access for people with AD. According to her nominator, Dr. Yu partners with Minnesota YMCAs and senior communities in the Twin Cities (e.g., Lyngblomsten, Ebenezer) to the development of an aerobic exercise intervention for people with AD

Dr. Diana Cutts
Hennepin Healthcare

Learn more about Diana

Dr. Diana Cutts is Hennepin Healthcare’s Chair of Pediatrics with more than 25 years of experience caring for children. As Medical Director of the Children’s Growth and Nutrition Clinic and Pediatric Medical Director to the Redleaf Center for Family Healing, she is committed to impacting the lives of kids and partnering with parents. Dr. Cutts is a national leader in childhood food insecurity and is the Co-Lead Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch as well as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. Her leadership and dedication to the health and wellness of children has had an incredible impact on our community. Her nominator notes that Dr. Cutt’s nutrition-related research studies lead to the development of a Food Shelf at Hennepin Healthcare—the only one in the region and one of few in the country. 


Innovation and Technology:

This award honors an innovative woman who is leading technological advances in health care that improve health outcomes, patient care and/or business impact.


Caitlin Kelly
Health Catalyst

Learn more about Caitlin...

Ms. Kelly is an experienced Analytics Director with a MBA focused in Health Care. She possesses a demonstrated history of working in healthcare information technology and services industry, levering talents in Business Intelligence Development (Qlikview), Data Analysis (SQL, Excel), Statistics, Teamwork, and Project Management. Her nominator notes Ms. Kelly’s most innovative projects focus on changing health systems from reactive to proactive measures.

Lisa Lavin

Learn more about Lisa...

Lisa Lavin is founder, Chairman and CEO of Ōmcare, a digital health company pioneering products that enable remote care in the home. Ōmcare extends the reach of caregivers and redefines medication adherence.

Lisa is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building new business from the ground up within the healthcare and high-tech sectors. Lisa is active in local and national organizations that support entrepreneurialism and women in business. Lisa is a Minnesota Cup Division winner, Eureka Award winner for Innovation, was recognized by Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal as one of 25 Women to Watch, Minnesota Business’ Real Power 50 and The New York Observer's 2020 List of the Hottest “Flyover Tech” Companies in Digital Health.

Patty Post
Checkable Medical

More about Patty...

Patty Post is the founder and CEO of Checkable Medical, an at-home strep test and mobile training application creating a new category in healthcare, at-home diagnostics. Patty is a native Minnesotan, graduate of the University of Minnesota and self proclaimed "lake girl." She has spent her career as a medical device business development executive, negotiating and executing multi million dollar contracts with prominent health systems and medical device companies. She has worked in some of the most competitive environments going head to head against the market leader and consistently a top performer. Patty is most proud of her family and her 16 year title, full-time working mother of 3. Her mottos in life are “everyday is a day to excel” and “everything is figure-out-able.”  Her nominator notes that innovation drives Patty’s approach as she tapped into her network of the everyday parent by reaching out to her children’s elementary school, her church and her workplace. Once her frustrations were validated, Patty reached out to the healthcare community and eventually connected with regulatory and FDA before moving forward with Checkable Medical. 

Carissa Rollins

Learn more about Carissa...

Carissa Rollins joined UnitedHealthcare in May of 2017 and holds the position of CIO Employer and Individual.  In her role she is responsible for the strategy, roadmap and technology investments in support of the commercial business portfolio at UnitedHealthcare.  Prior to UHC, Carissa held the positions of CIO and CHRO at Gander Mountain where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s technology and information systems, omni-channel initiatives, cyber-security, and enterprise data and business analytics in addition to all aspects of human resource management. Her nominator notes that she has successfully influenced and negotiated change during her time at UHC, including overhauling existing infrastructure to be more successful.



This award celebrates the woman who is viewed by her team, peers, superiors and business partners as an exceptional leader.

Kristen Edsall

Learn more about Kristen...

Kristen Edsall, RN, MSN (Nursing Informatics) is Director of Clinical Informatics Consulting at Optum. Kristen's career in healthcare spans 30 years. She started as a Registered Nurse in Critical Care, later ran health plan operations, and evolved into a Nurse Informaticist. She has lead teams inside and outside of Optum to design and build systems to support clinical users in the payer and provider spaces. Recently, she initiated and established a new job family within United Health Group for Clinical Informatics and leads a newly formed team of Clinical Informaticists assigned to projects across the enterprise . Her nomination notes that Kristen created content and direction for an educational series at Optum called “HealthCare 101 and 102” which is now the most popular class in the series and gets consistently 100 NPS evaluations.

Melissa Fors
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Learn more about Melissa...

Melissa joined Hazelden Betty Ford in 2013 where she leads the strategic marketing functions, which includes brand strategy, B2B and B2C marketing campaigns, 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. According to her nominator, under Fors’ leadership, the Foundation has fully embraced the data-driven, digital marketing revolution with record-setting, lifesaving results. In 2018, our treatment centers served 23,464 patients, the most in our history and 10,000 more on an annual basis than when Fors joined our Foundation in 2013.

Mary Johnson
M Health Fairview

Learn more about Mary...

Mary Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer of the 900 plus bed University of Minnesota Medical Center, and President of the Service Lines at M Health Fairview, where she is responsible as a dyad partner for overseeing strategy, growth, and quality of nine system service lines. Prior to this role, Mary was the Chief Operating Officer for University of Minnesota Physicians.  Mary holds both a bachelor’s in nursing and a master’s in nursing and health care administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her nomination notes that, Mary has taken the University of Minnesota Physicians to new heights—improving scale, ability, access, and innovation in care delivery.

Debra Rudquist
Amery Hospital & Clinic

More about Debra...

Debra Rudquist joined Amery Hospital & Clinic in October 2014 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that time, she held many health care leadership positions at Allina Health and Fairview Health Services - most recently functioning as the system-wide Cardiovascular Service Line Vice President for Fairview. At Allina, she held a number of operational leadership and business development positions including Executive Director of Ambulatory Services. A Registered Nurse by background, she has an undergraduate degree from the College of St. Catherine and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is currently serving as the West Central Region President for the Wisconsin Hospital Association and is Chair of the Workforce Development Council for the WHA.  In addition, she is the board chair for Kinship of Polk County and is a member of the Amery and Polk County Economic Development corporations. Debra’s nominator commends her outstanding leadership when crisis hits, noting her role as Incident Commander when the City of Amery lost all water supply in 2017.


Volunteer/Community Engagement:

This award honors unsung heroes who donate time to support the community health initiative.

Cyndy Bayer
Allina Health

Learn more about Cindy...

Cyndy Bayer is the Quality/Risk Manager at Regina and River Falls Area Hospitals, part of Allina Health. In addition to having a passion for patient safety and quality, she became an advocate for individuals with disabilities after her daughter was born with Down syndrome. She helped implement the Project SEARCH program for individuals with disabilities at River Falls Area Hospital in 2014 and continues to be the program’s Business Liaison. She serves on the River Falls Project SEARCH Operational and Steering committees as well as the Children’s Community Options Program Committee for Pierce County, Wisconsin. According to her nominator, Cyndy works to find ways in which job tasks can be accommodated easily, she encourages interns and families to have goals they never would have dreamed of, and hopefully help change the minds and attitudes of people who may have not had the opportunity to consider what individuals with disabilities can accomplish with the right support.

Susan Schuster
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

More about Susan...

An innovative, energetic cross-sector corporate social impact strategist, catalyst, and convener, Susan engages employees in making a difference for causes they care about, increasing community well-being by reducing health and economic disparities. Currently the Principal Community Relations Consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, she is a persistent advocate for corporate social impact. Certified in Change Management and as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, her work experience in healthcare consulting and human resources leadership brings a people-centered lens to everything she does. Her PhD dissertation research is focused on corporate social responsibility, community, and employee well-being. Her nomination notes that her work at HandsOn Twin Cities helps people find a cause they care about by bringing together 400+ metropolitan nonprofits.





Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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