February 21, 2020 – Executive search firm Ballinger | Leafblad has assisted Minneapolis, MN-based health system Hennepin Healthcare in the recruitment of Jennifer DeCubellis as its new CEO. She replaces Jon Pryor who resigned last year. The assignment was led by co-founder Marcia Ballinger and principal Bob Schoenbaum.
“We had a strong pool of candidates from across the nation to choose from and Jennifer DeCubellis stood out among them,” said Dianna Vance-Bryan, Hennepin Healthcare System board chair and leader of the CEO search committee. “She has passion for the Hennepin Healthcare mission and a proven record of collaborating to create healthcare delivery models that improve patient outcomes, reduce disparities and improve the health of the community.”
Ms. DeCubellis is currently the Hennepin County deputy administrator responsible for the health and human services divisions of the county. The search committee was most impressed by her role creating Hennepin Health, said the Hennepin Healthcare System. She was a leader in developing the nationally recognized partnership between the county and the healthcare system that integrates medical and behavioral care with social services for patients on Medicaid. Addressing issues of equity, disparities in care and social determinants of health, while also developing broader population health solutions, are keys to improving the wellbeing of the community while controlling costs.
Collaborator and Problem Solver
“Hospitals and healthcare systems operate in a very challenging financial environment today,” said Brock Nelson, former CEO of Regions Hospital, who serves as vice chair of the Hennepin Healthcare board and was a member of the search committee. “As an industry, we have a huge problem with cost and lack of payment for those in need. Jennifer stood out among the candidates because of her track record as a community collaborator and problem solver. She asks the right questions and gets the right people involved to find solutions that are big, bold, and have improved care and lowered costs to the system.”
In addition to her decade of experience as a health and human services leader with Hennepin County, Ms. DeCubellis has worked as an innovation advisor at the federal level for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, where she created and tested system changes designed to improve quality and slow the escalation of costs. She also led Mental Health Authority Services in Harris County, TX.
“Hennepin Healthcare is a premier institution that leads with both hearts and minds,” said Ms. DeCubellis. “The opportunity to connect a solid, forward-facing strategy with the passion of the people who work there is exciting. In partnership with our patients and the community we can realize the full potential of this vital institution to reduce systematic health inequities and improve the health of the communities we serve.”
Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized level 1 adult trauma center and level 1 pediatric trauma center and acute care hospital, as well as a clinic system with primary care clinics located in Minneapolis and across Hennepin County. The comprehensive healthcare system includes a 484 -bed academic medical center, a large outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center, and a network of clinics downtown and in the North Loop, Whittier and East Lake Street neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield and St. Anthony Village.
Serving the Civic Sector
Ballinger | Leafblad, based in St. Paul, MN, is an executive search and selection consulting firm co-founded in 2014 by Ms. Ballinger and Lars Leafblad. The firm works exclusively in the civic sector with organizations that do good—foundations, non-profits, higher education institutions and professional associations.
Ms. Ballinger has been well-known in the Twin Cities executive search community for nearly two decades. Over the years, she has developed a specialty in non-profit recruiting, most often working with boards of directors and search committees, assisting them as they make important and often challenging decisions. Ms. Ballinger got into executive search after a career in human resources development with technology companies, beginning with IBM.
Mr. Schoenbaum has worked extensively with boards, search committees, business owners and CEOs. His search experience includes working in nearly every industry—from non-profit and healthcare organizations to startups and large public companies.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media