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Allina Health Announces New Leadership Appointments

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   April 21, 2022

Sarah Criger, David Joos, and Kelly Spratt will all serve in new roles within the health system.

Minneapolis-based Allina Health has announced new leadership appointments for the health system and its flagship hospital, Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Sara Criger, who has served as the vice president of operations for Allina Health since 2012, has been promoted to lead the health system's acute care services. In her new role as senior vice president of operations and acute care services, she will provide executive leadership to 11 Allina Health system hospitals, including Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, Allina's Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Cardiovascular Clinical Service Lines.

"Sara is an experienced connector, influencer, and innovator who has dedicated her career to improving the health of the communities we serve," Allina Health CEO, Lisa Shannon, said in a statement. "The leadership and vision Sara brings to this new role will help us accelerate Allina Health’s transformation journey to deliver seamlessly connected care for the most complex patients across our system and region."

Previously, Criger served in other leadership roles in Allina Health, including serving as president of Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and president of United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Over her three-decade career, she also served as vice president of HealthEast Care System (now M Health Fairview) and CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital (now M Health Fairview St. Joseph's Hospital), both located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"I am honored to lead Allina Health’s Acute Care Services at this transformational time," Criger said in a statement. "I have spent my career building programs and systems to improve care and make it more equitable and accessible. I am excited to continue our innovative work to increase integrated care and transform care delivery throughout our system, so we can continue providing excellent care to our communities and our region for generations to come."

David Joos, who currently serves as vice president of operations of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, has been promoted to president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. He will succeed Ann Madden Rice who announced at the beginning of the year that she will retire as president in May.

"We are grateful to have David take on this new position. He came to Allina Health with a strong record of consistently delivering excellence in healthcare business development, change management, and leadership development," Criger said in a statement. "While at Abbott Northwestern, he’s navigated an exceedingly difficult time in healthcare by working in partnership with leaders, staff, and physicians to provide a new level of support so our teams can continue to focus on delivering the best care for our patients and supporting the community we serve."

Joos has more than two decades of experience serving in healthcare administration. Before joining Allina Health in 2018, he served as vice president of operations at KentuckyOne Health in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to that, he led patient access, outpatient services, and operations at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio.

"It is a great honor to begin this new role with Allina Health at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. It is an outstanding team, and it’s clear why the work of the medical staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital is recognized among the top in the nation. The commitment to realizing all the connected needs of a patient and the focus on delivering seamless whole-person care are consistently carried out at Abbott Northwestern Hospital," Joos said in a statement. "I’m excited to be part of a transformative time for Abbott Northwestern Hospital as we revitalize the campus to better care for patients and strengthen our commitment to the community we serve."

Kelly Spratt, current president of Allina Health's Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo, Minnesota, and Cambridge Medical Center in Cambridge, Minnesota, will serve as the new vice president of operations at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, succeeding Joos on Monday, April 25.

In his new role, he will oversee the hospital's perioperative services, ancillary services, and support services and facilities. He will also oversee the design and commissioning of the hospital's new critical care and surgical tower, which will be constructed over the next several years.

"Kelly has provided exceptional leadership to the teams at Buffalo Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center the past three years. Additionally, the support he has provided to Allina Health Corporate Security and Emergency Management has had a positive impact across the entire organization," Criger said in a statement. "We are so pleased that his leadership will further benefit our teams and those we serve through our advanced programs at Abbott Northwestern Hospital."

Following Spratt's departure from Buffalo Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center, Josh Shepard, the director of operations at the two hospitals, will serve as the interim president while a permanent search is conducted.

"I am honored to have been selected to help provide leadership at Allina Health’s flagship hospital," Spratt said in a statement. "Abbott Northwestern Hospital has embarked on a major growth and modernization project that includes the new Central Utilities Plant and the coming Critical Care and Surgical Pavilion. I am excited to continue being part of our organizational commitment to redefine health care and working with the team to transform Abbott Northwestern’s patient facilities to provide care for the next 50 years—in a neighborhood we’ve called home for more than 140 years."

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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