Board Members
2019 Board of Directors

Leslie Bodell, President

Leslie Bodell, President Elect

Learn more about Leslie

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 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.

Christine (Chris) Bent, Incoming President

Christine (Chris) Bent, Secretary

Learn more about Christine

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 (vice president), Mount Olivet Home, Careview Home and Day Services, and Lakewood Cemetery.

Rhoda Beaird, Treasurer

Rhoda Beaird, Treasurer

Learn more about Rhoda

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.

Allison O’Connor, Secretary

Allison O’Connor, Secretary

Learn more about Allison

Allison O’Connor is currently part of the leadership team at Fathom Consulting, located in Minneapolis. Allison has focused her consulting career in the health care industry, first with Deloitte Consulting and most recently at Fathom Consulting. Her experiences include leading operational improvement projects, strategic planning development and facilitation; M&A project management and due diligence, and operational and process redesign and implementation. Allison’s clients have included large national provider and payor systems, regional health systems and payors and critical access hospitals and clinics. Allison has over 16 years of professional experience in financial and operational planning.

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 an active member on the Membership and Programming Committee of the Women’s Health Leadership Trust and Board Member of the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region. Allison was invited and currently stands as a WBL member. 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 earned her Master’s 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.

Monica Engel, Immediate Past President

Rhoda Beaird, Treasurer

Learn more about Monica

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 past 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.

Trust Directors

Tracey Armstrong

Tracey Armstrong

Learn more about Tracey

More about Tracey coming soon!

Deb Bauman

Deb Bauman

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Deb Bauman joined Hazelden Betty Ford in 2015 as Executive Director of Technology Services/CIO. Deb brings with her over 30 years of experience in the Technology Services industry. Prior to joining Hazelden Betty Ford she served as Group President for Bremer Bank in charge of Bank Operations and Technology; Vice President for Target Technology Services, where she was in charge of Financial Services Technology and; Chief Information Officer for Deluxe Financial Services and Chief Information Officer for Sun Country Airlines. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin. Deb has been a member of the Strategic Advisory board for FIS Global Solutions, a board member for several startups, and a member of the Advisory Board for Sophia Fund, an angel investment firm. She served as a board member of the non-profit Bridge for Youth for seven years, with the last three years serving as the Chair, and currently serves on the board of the Women's Health Leadership TRUST.

Julie Dekker

Julie Dekker

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Julie Dekker currently serves as the Director of Medical Policy Value & UM Implementation at Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota. In this role she is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of medical 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, the Omicron Omicron Alumni Chapter Board of Alpha Chi Omega, where she served three years as Treasurer. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization MORE based in St. Paul and served as Vice Chair.

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

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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. While working across HealthPartners’ care group, health plan and research institute, Amy brings forward a system-wide approach to positioning HealthPartners for success by elevating and knitting together all of its unique capabilities with intent by providing overall strategic direction, growth strategy formation and guidance to make sound, qualitative and data-driven business decisions while ensuring consistency with the organization’s objectives and mission.

Amy balances her time between externally working with customers, partners, and the community while internally focusing on the development of care group plans that yield a deeper level of engagement with current patients and members as well as advancing strategies that will attract new consumers and meet unmet demand.

Prior to joining HealthPartners in August of 2015, Amy led the development and deployment of strategic growth priorities for the Strategy and Business Development functions of CHI, a large national catholic health care system, based out of Denver and held enterprise-wide and regional Growth and Market Development responsibilities at Aurora Health Care, a large regional health care delivery system in Wisconsin. Amy has also spent time working with the small group sales division of Humana Insurance Company and has five years of non-health industry experience.

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

Although newer to the great state of Minnesota, Amy has a passion for community service and the advancement of women in leadership. Amy is a current Board Member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST and is actively engaged in a number of committees including Governance, Forum (Chair), Voice of the Customer (Chair), and Strategic Marketing. Amy also serves as a Hospital Board Member for Westfield’s Hospital in New Richmond, Wisconsin; Renville Hospital in Olivia, Minnesota; and for St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee, Minnesota. She has previously served as Board Chair on several community boards including the Manitowoc Two Rivers YMCA and for Women in Management, a Wisconsin statewide non-profit professional development association for women.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family (husband Tim, teenagers Cormac and Addison), heading to the dog park with her furry kids (Arya and Bindi) as well as participating in any number of outdoor activities and sports like tennis, boating and snowboarding.

Heidi Dieter

Heidi Dieter

Learn more about Heidi

Heidi L. Dieter is 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., leads 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.

Additionally, Ms. Dieter is the associate administrator for the Enterprise Transplant Center. In this role, Ms. Dieter, in partnership with David Douglas, M.D., leads all aspects of the center, whose mission is to provide comprehensive care to all patients with organ failure in a setting which optimizes outcomes and advances new knowledge.

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 330 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 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.

Diane Nanstad

Diane Nanstad

Learn more about Diane

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

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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 Helath 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

Learn more about Rachel

As Vice President and General Manager, Federal Programs for Prime Therapeutics, LLC Rachel is responsible for the growth and profitability of Prime’s Medicare line of business. In this role, Rachel leads a cross functional team to meet all stakeholder business requirements. She works closely with clients, industry trade associations, regulatory authorities and Prime leadership to define operating and innovation needs. She leads the development and delivery of annual operating plans and three-year strategic plans through the implementation of a management cadence and environment that leads to high levels of team performance. Over her past tenure at Prime, Rachel has held numerous positions. Prior to joining Prime Therapeutics in 2000, Rachel held several positions at Express Scripts. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and has nearly 28 years of experience in the PBM industry.

Jennifer Olson

Jennifer Olson

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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).

Kim Perry

Kim Perry

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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.

Joy Plamann

Joy Plamann

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Joy Plamann is Vice President Operations, Acute Care Division, and Chief Nursing Officer with CentraCare Health. In this role, Joy co-leads the Acute Care Division with the Physician Vice President, Acute Care and is jointly accountable for shared organization and division goals and for alignment and integration of the delivery of care that advances CentraCare’s Quadruple Aim, utilizing shared leadership and shared accountability. She is accountable for optimizing the business operations across the care continuum, including management of the employed physician practices and corresponding outpatient and inpatient care delivery. Joy is also the CNO at St. Cloud Hospital.

Previous roles include Section Director, Hospital Medicine, at CentraCare Health; Care Center Director, Department Director, Core Charge Nurse, Staff Development Nurse and Charge Nurse at St. Cloud Hospital. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, 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.

Laura Reed

Laura Reed

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Laura Reed serves as the Chief Nursing Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the Fairview Health system in Minnesota. This system includes an academic medical center, 11 community based hospitals, primary care, specialty clinics, long term and post-acute care. Previous to this position she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive for ThedaCare. Her responsibilities included clinical operations for the system including ambulatory, post-acute, community and rural hospital settings. Laura has extensive leadership experience, both in clinical operations and organizational effectiveness. She holds both a Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration degrees, from the University of Iowa and her Doctorate in Nursing from the University of Minnesota School Of Nursing.

Mary Welsh

Mary Welsh

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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.



Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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