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Lisa Shannon Takes the Helm at Allina Health

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   January 05, 2022

Former president and COO, Lisa Shannon, assumed the role of CEO on January 1.

Allina Health has a new CEO, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based health system announced earlier this week.

Lisa Shannon, who previously served as president and COO, assumed her new role on January 1. As CEO, Shannon will focus on leading the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring quality care, and supporting the health and wellbeing of the workforce through the pandemic and beyond.

"Throughout my entire career, I have remained passionate about quality care and elevating the voice and expertise of those who are doing the work to deliver on our caring mission," Shannon said in a statement. "This is more important now than ever as we navigate this critical time in health care. I am deeply honored to have been entrusted to lead such an exceptional organization with a reputation for clinical excellence, commitment to community and redefining systems of care to include all facets of the human experience."

Shannon, who served as COO since July 2017 and president since September 2020, succeeds Penny Wheeler, MD, who announced her plans to retire at the end of the year in September.

Wheeler's tenure at Allina spans decades. Her career includes working as a physician, serving as president of the medical staff of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and serving as chief medical officer for the health system. She also became the first woman and physician to serve as CEO of Allina Health in 2015.

Wheeler will remain on the board of directors while Shannon leads the health system.

In a previous interview, Wheeler shared her decision to retire stemmed from a combination of stage of life, as well as Shannon's readiness to step up into the role.

"When you have somebody internally who's ready, you don't want to stand in their way or lose that person," she said. "Those all influenced it: stage of life for me, and the readiness of Lisa Shannon, who I felt very confident in moving forward and coming into this role."

The organization previously put a succession plan in place which ensured a smooth transition for both leaders.

"While times remain challenging, I step into this role with tremendous hope, gratitude and energy for the future of Allina Health and what we can accomplish together to improve the lives of those we are privileged to serve," Shannon said.

“I am deeply honored to have been entrusted to lead such an exceptional organization with a reputation for clinical excellence, commitment to community and redefining systems of care to include all facets of the human experience.”

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

Photo credit: WOODBURY, MN, USA - JANUARY 18, 2021: Allina Health clinic facility and trademark logo. / Ken Wolter / Shutterstock


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