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2013- 2014 MRHA Board of Directors

Member Info
David L. Brenne, MBA, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Lutheran Home Association
337. S Meridian Ave.
Bell Plaine, MN.  56011
Phone:  612.889.8741

David is a recognized expert in combining operations and finance for the sound management of Minnesota senior living organizations.  With over 30 years of accounting experience and more than 25 years of reimbursement and financial experience in Health Care, David offers WIPFLI clients insight and strategic guidance on senior services.
David is an experienced trainer who has offered sessions in accounting, finance, reimbursement, and business office management to a number of senior living organizations.
Prior to joining Wipfli, David spent 16 years with a $100+million Minnesota senior services organization.  He was responsible for all financial staff and their accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and third-party reimbursement for 22 nursing homes, a hospital, a clinic, a therapy company, a home care agency, 20 HUD housing projects and eight assisted living facilities.  Additionally, he developed cost and hour analysis reports and provided consulting in reimbursement, project management, financial performance and capital management.
David has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in its Health Administration Program. 


Dave J. Borgert

Government Relations Officer, Strategic Associates, LLC
under contract to
CentraCare Health System

1428 Poppy Road
St. Cloud, MN. 56303
Fax 320.253.5435

A lifelong resident of Central Minnesota, Mr. Borgert has served in senior management roles in a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in both a volunteer and professional capacity. In his practice, he provides consulting services in strategic planning, organizational development, communications and community & governmental relations. Mr. Bogert has a particular concern for the well-being of communities in Greater Minnesota struggling to meet the special challenges to their survival in a state that is increasingly focused on urban and suburban life. Mr. Bogert serves on the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the MN Hospital Association, Advocacy Committee of the Minnesota Catholic Health Association, and Government Affairs Committee of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul and a B.S. in Sociology from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.


Darrell Carter M.D.

Comprehensive Advanced Life Support
600 S. Highway 169, Suite 1680
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Phone: 320.564.2511

Darrell Carter serves as the Program Director of the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) Program.  The CALS Program grew out of a need in rural Minnesota for knowledge and hands-on skills training in emergency medicine. Presented with a wide range of clinical problems and inadequate resources in the emergency department, rural health care providers were unsure about the most appropriate care for their patients. In response to their unique needs, the CALS Program (a 501(c)3 organization) and its comprehensive advanced life support curriculum were developed.   The primary focus of the CALS curriculum is to train medical teams in rural and remote areas to anticipate, recognize, and treat life-threatening emergencies.
The first CALS Provider Course was offered in 1996 and since then over 3,600 medical professionals have completed the course.

Additionally, Dr. Carter is affiliated with the Community Medical Centers PA in Granite Falls MN. 


Kate Dean, MBA

2014-2015 MRHA Treasurer
Director, Health Science and Medical Education
Essentia Institute of Rural HealthAdministrator
Duluth Graduate Medical Education Council
502 East 2nd Street | 6 AV-2
Duluth, MN  55805
P: 218.786.3008

Kate Dean serves as the Director of Health Science and Medical Education for the Essentia Institute of Rural Health, the research and education arm of Essentia Health. She spent nearly 10 years in clinic administration before transitioning into the world of medical and health science education. As Essentia’s Director of Health Science and Medical Education, Ms. Dean focuses on strategically developing relationships with academic and community partners, and aligning workforce development with student learning experiences. Through innovation and collaboration, Essentia strives to develop a rural-ready, primary care workforce. Ms. Dean believes closing the gap in translating "what we learn, into what we do" is critical for reducing rural health disparities. Her experience in education administration and operations management aids her in guiding implementation strategies. Ms. Dean earned an MBA from Marylhurst University in Oregon and BS and BA degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Jim Dregney

Lakewood Health System
49725 County 83
Staples, MN 56479
TEL 218.894.8399
FAX 218.894.8945

No biography available at this time.

Steve Gottwalt

2014-2015 MRHA President Elect
Director, State Legislative Policy
CDI Quality Institute
5775 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 400
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
Direct: 952.738.4491
Mobile: 952.923.5265

A passionate advocate for real and sustainable health care reforms, particularly for rural communities, Mr. Gottwalt’s professional background includes health care coverage product development, provider network contracting and health care insurance experience.  Mr. Gottwalt served six years in the Minnesota Legislature on the House Health and Human Services (HHS) policy and finance committees, and chaired the House HHS Reform Committee 2011-2012.  He also served on the Legislative Health Care Access Commission, the Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force, and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Rural Health Advisory Committee. In 2012, Mr. Gottwalt received the Minnesota Hospital Association’s “Public Achievement Award,” and was previously recognized as a “Champion of Minnesota Community Hospitals.”  He currently serves as Director, State Legislative Policy for Minnesota-based CDI Quality Institute, Center for Diagnostic Imaging. Mr. Gottwalt lives in St. Cloud, MN with his wife Paula and their five children. He served nine years on the St. Cloud City Council, and has remained active in the community.  A professional communicator with a background in corporate and broadcast communications, Mr. Gottwalt holds a double B.A. in Journalism and English from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.

Todd Lemke, PharmD CDE
2014-2015 Vice President

Paynesville Area Health Care System
200 First St W
Paynesville, MN 56362

office 320-243-7772
fax 320-243-7910
cell 320-250-1341

Todd Lemke received his PharmD degree from the University of Minnesota in 1999. He completed
an ambulatory residency in 2000. Since 2000, he has been a clinical pharmacist with the Paynesville Area Health Care System. In 2003, he became director of pharmacy services. He is a Certified Diabetes Educator, has certifications in ACLS and insulin pump training. In his clinical practice, he sees patients in the clinic, hospital and long-term care settings through a collaborative scope of practice. As director,he also manages the facilities 25 bed critical access hospital pharmacy which helps care for hospital inpatients and outpatients as well as the facilities long term care residents. Todd holds a clinical faculty position and precepts students from Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota Colleges of Pharmacy. Currently Todd is also a faculty member with HRSAs Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative. Todd also serves as a critical access hospital/340b consultant to HRSAs Pharmacy Services Support Center.


Kami Norland, MA, ATR
2014-2015 MRHA President

National Rural Health Resource Center
Community Specialist
600 East Superior St. Suite 404
Duluth, MN 55802

(218) 727-9390 ext. 223
Kami Norland, M.A. is the Community Specialist for the National Rural Health Resource Center and has 12 years of experience in health care management, with over 5 years convening and facilitating educational and presentation sessions. As a community specialist, Norland conducts and facilitates Community Health Assessment services in rural communities across the nation. Norland has led a multi-state health initiative that rallied health care facilities to take the lead on identifying best practices and innovations to improve access to rural health care and create a culture of wellness. Norland has served in health information technology projects with Minnesota/North Dakota’s Regional Extension Center (REACH) and with federal contracts through the Rural Assistance Center. Norland serves the Medicare Beneficiary Flexibility Programs throughout the country as a representative of The Center’s Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) program funded by the Health Resource and Services< Administration--Office of Rural Health Policy. She has also functioned as the subject matter expert for the Veterans Health Administration-Office of Rural Health Policy contract and operates the Veterans Integrated Service Network 23’s Palliative Care Rural Initiative. Norland has a master’s degree in art therapy and is a registered therapist

Allison (Lunde) O'Connor

Healthcare Consulting Manager

Eide Bailly LLP
U.S. Bancorp Center
800 Nicollet Mall, Ste. 1300
Minneapolis, MN 55402-7033

Main: 612.253.6500
Direct: 612.253.6566

Allison is a healthcare consultant for Edie Bailly LLP, in the Minneapolis office.  Prior to joining the firm in the fall of 2008, she was a consultant in the Healthcare Strategy and Operations Practice at Deloitte Consulting in Minneapolis.  Allison obtained her Masters of Business Administration from the Johnson School at Cornell University in New York.  Her professional experiences prior to business school included financial and strategic planning.  Allison’s health care experiences include hospital and payer strategy projects, clinic operational assessments, provider feasibility and forecasting studies as well as business and financial planning for a new school of medicine, including the structure of the clinical enterprise.  Her strengths include financial analysis, strategy and operations assessment and project management within the health care industry.


Jenny Schlagenhaft

Director of Community Relations/Communications
Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center
Wabasha, MN
Phone 651.565.5596


Jenny Schlagenhaft has over 27 years of healthcare public relations and communications experience in acute care, long term care, and psychiatric settings in Wisconsin, Texas, and Minnesota.  She currently is responsible for internal and external communications and public relations, fundraising and development, grant writing and management, staff development and facilitation, community education and wellness/prevention programming, marketing, promotions, and special events, community benefits coordination, and volunteer services coordination for Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center.


Mark Schoenbaum, MSW

Director, MN Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care

85 E 7th Place Ste 220
PO Box 64882
St Paul MN 55164-0882
Fax: 651.201.3830

Mr. Schoenbaum is Director of Minnesota’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health. The Office serves as a resource for rural and underserved urban communities as they respond to health-related challenges such as shifting demographics, health care workforce shortages, and financial and economic pressures. It provides grants, loan forgiveness and other assistance to the health care safety net, conducts research and analysis with the guidance of the Governor-appointed Rural Health Advisory Committee, monitors Minnesota’s health workforce and directs the State Trauma System. Mr. Shoenbaum came to ORHPC in 1996 to manage its Primary Care and Financial Assistance Programs, and was appointed Director in 2005. His career spans thirty years of working with Minnesota communities. He holds an MSW from the University of Minnesota and a BA from Antioch College.


Laurissa Stigen, M.S.

Executive Director
Central MN AHEC
1414 College Way
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
(218) 736-1601

Laurissa Stigen is the Executive Director of Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) since it was established is 2007.  Central Minnesota AHEC serves a 15 county area and works in close collaboration with the University of Minnesota and regional stakeholders to strengthen the health professions workforce in Central Minnesota through collaborations with communities and academic partners that support life-long learning and ensure a future generation of health professionals. Ms Stigen has a Bachelor's Degree in Rural and Health and Wellness from the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis and a Master's Degree in Community Health from Montana State University - Bozeman. She is a 2009 Fellow for the National Rural Health Association and looks forward to utilizing this experience on a statewide level.

Our mission is to strengthen the health professions workforce in Central Minnesota through collaborations with communities and academic partners that support life-long learning and ensure a future generation of health professionals.


Robin Weis
MRHA Secretary
Aging Program Director

2401 Broadway Ave
Slayton, MN 56172
507.836.8547 ext 1642
Fax 507.836.8866

Ms Weis is employed by the Southwest Regional Development Commission and works primarily with organizations who want to expand or implement programs for the elderly who generally focus around chronic disease management, caregiver support and preparing communities for the baby boom generation.  She also oversees the Senior LinkAge Line® which covers the 27 counties of southwest Minnesota.  Ms Weis is concerned about rural health issues and is involved at a statewide level advocating for the rural health consumer whose voice needs to be heard. Ms Weis holds a Bachelors degree from Southwest State University in Marshall.


Karla Weng
2014-2015 MRHA PastPresident

Program Manager
Stratis Health
2901 Metro Drive, Suite 400Bloomington, MN.  55021
Phone 507.331.3911

Karla Weng as Program Manager is responsible for identifying, developing, and distributing resources related to leadership, patient safety, and quality improvement in rural hospitals, she is the primary liaison for rural hospitals and clinics in Northwest MN.  She manages Stratis Health’s clinic and health plan activities in MN including responsibility for budgets and consultant contracts, facilitating and providing coordination for an ongoing collaborative effort between nine health plans in MN to jointly develop and implement annual performance improvement projects for state public health program members, identify, create and package resources related to clinical quality improvement including toolkits, patient education materials, and bi-monthly newsletter with distribution to over 800 clinics and stakeholders in MN.  Develop and deliver training and workshops on a variety of topics including trends in rural hospital measurement, basic quality improvement, data and measurement, health literacy, and quality management methodologies.


Ex-Officio Members

Marnie Falk
Murdock, MN

Judith Neppel
Crookston, MN

Board of Directors Emeritus

Dr. Ray Christensen
Barbara Muesing
Liz Quam


Minnesota Rural Health Association is supported by the University of Minnesota, Crookston. National Rural Health Association (NRHA)
Minnesota Rural Health Association is a member for the National Rural Health Association.
Selvig Hall 309, 2900 University Avenue, University of Minnesota, Crookston, MN 56716 | 218-281-8323
(c) 2013 Minnesota Rural Health Association. All Rights Reserved.