Skip to main content
Banner: 23 people at HealthPartners to know

23 people at HealthPartners to know

These colleagues and volunteers make a big difference for our patients, members and community. Meet them and find out how they make good happen.

Our colleagues at HealthPartners are 25,000 people who believe in the power of good. It’s our passion, culture and in our DNA. The individuals we work with go above and beyond, and each year we’re so proud to show how. Here’s a sampling of some of the truly special people that we got to know in 2017:

Randé Tomas

1. HealthPartners and Regions Hospital volunteer Randé Tomas

The HealthPartners Neuroscience Center was designed so that natural sunlight fills the inside. But the building gets even brighter on days former professional dancer Randé Tomas is there volunteering.

Kelly Maciej, RN

2. Park Nicollet nurse supervisor Kelly Maciej, RN

Kelly Maciej is a colleague who takes living the HealthPartners value of compassion to the next level. When a patient at our Women’s Services Clinic in Burnsville said she was homeless, Kelly immediately changed into scrubs and gave the patient her own skirt and top.

Bob Molenda

3. Hudson Hospital & Clinic and Westfields Hospital & Clinic therapy dog Finnegan (and his owner Bob Molenda)

OK, Finnegan’s not a person per se, but he has made more than 350 hospital visits since he started volunteering with HealthPartners’ pet therapy program in 2011! Finnegan’s special talent is working with kids and people with disabilities, and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association named him their Companion Animal of the Year.

Shamayne Braman

4. HealthPartners Diversity & Inclusion director Shamayne Braman

Shamayne Braman began leading HealthPartners’ diversity and inclusion efforts in June 2017. She believes relationships are the most important vehicle that can transform an organization or community, and says a question she asks herself a lot is, “Am I working to create the kind of environment where the communities I serve would really thrive?”

Eduardo Medina

5. Park Nicollet family medicine physician Eduardo Medina, MD, MPH

When Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017 bringing widespread devastation to Puerto Rico, there was no doubt in Dr. Eduardo Medina’s mind that he had to help. With the help of his colleagues at Park Nicollet and Methodist Hospital, he was able to embark on a trip to provide relief across the island that is so near and dear to his heart.

Emily Druffner

6. Regions Hospital ICU nurse Emily Druffner, RN

As a nurse, Emily Druffner believes she is never really off-duty. So when a man collapsed in a pew behind her at church, she sprang into action to perform CPR – an act that earned her a Lifesaving Award from the Bayport Police Department.

Jamie Whitehead

7. Park Nicollet nurse Jamie Whitehead, RN

Jamie Whitehead is compassionate and has a knack for connecting with just about anyone she meets. She gives her patients at Park Nicollet Heart and Vascular Center the royal treatment – and was even crowned Miss Minnesota United States in 2017!

Evan Page

8. Regions Hospital speech language pathologist Evan Page, CCC-SLP

In honor of his stepmother and many of his patients, Evan Page biked 3,160 miles in 51 days to raise awareness for lesser known dementias. Evan gave the money he raised through the bike ride to the HealthPartners Center for Memory & Aging to support a clinical trial treatment for patients with fronto-temporal dementia.

Ann Deshler

9. HealthPartners Institute colleague and oncology nurse Ann Deshler, RN

Fighting cancer is Ann Deshler’s life. She works in cancer research administration at HealthPartners Institute. And outside of work, she was a driving force in the movement to get the City of Edina to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.

Jeff Loeks

10. Regions Hospital Emergency Room technician Jeff Loeks

Most couples just need to get a marriage license before their wedding. But Jeff Loeks and his fiancée said they first needed to collect 3,800 pounds of food for kids in need, too.

colleagues Tim Hunecke and Todd Quist

11. HealthPartners Information Systems colleagues Tim Hunecke and Todd Quist

These HealthPartners colleagues had a milestone year in 2017 when it comes to saving our planet! They celebrated 28 years of carpooling this year – and are great examples of our organization’s commitment to sustainability. Tim and Todd both live in Hastings and commute together daily to the HealthPartners corporate office in Bloomington. Each says he’s made a great friend in the other through this routine – and saved thousands of dollars.

Alyce Brekke

12. Lakeview Hospital nurse Alyce Brekke, RN

Alyce Brekke started a knitting group at Lakeview Hospital and Stillwater Medical Group to create soft and light-weight breast prostheses for breast cancer survivors. Funded with Lakeview Foundation support, the “knitted knockers” are offered free of charge to any patient who has had a mastectomy.

Charles Hausman

13. HealthPartners chiropractor Charles Hausman, DC

Dr. Charles Hausman is a chiropractor with HealthPartners RiverWay Clinic in Anoka – and a team doctor for the Cannondale-Drapac Cycling Team. In 2017, he traveled to Europe with the team for the Tour de France, and got a shoutout for helping the cyclists win one of the stages in the race!

Wade Owens, Heidi Marie Jurgens and Michael Welsh

14. HealthPartners volunteers Wade Owens, Heidi Marie Jurgens and Michael Welsh

This dynamic trio of volunteers got connected with our organization through Partnership Resources, Inc., a local non-profit that matches individuals with developmental disabilities with places where they can play a respected and valued role in their community. They’ve now been helping out with a variety of projects at the HealthPartners corporate office for 3 years!

David Tridgell

15. Park Nicollet endocrinologist David Tridgell, MD

When he was 15, Dr. David Tridgell was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes himself. He takes insulin injections every day and has seen the cost of the medication skyrocket over the last decade to a price that’s now unaffordable to many of his patients. Because of that, he’s taking a lead role in advocating for lower prescription drug costs.

Katie Kocherer

16. HealthPartners patient account representative Katie Kocherer

HealthPartners is committed to helping moms-to-be have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And because of that, we are a proud supporter of the March of Dimes and its research, education and care. When our colleague Katie Kocherer’s twin boys were born 12 weeks early, they were no bigger than bottles of pop. She shared her story to help explain why our organization’s participation in the March for Babies is so important.

Deb Thorp

17. Park Nicollet OB-GYN Deb Thorp, MD

Dr. Deb Thorp has been seeing LGBTQ patients for more than 25 years at Methodist Hospital and the Park Nicollet Gender Services Clinic. It’s her goal to improve care and eliminate barriers for this diverse community and others. And because of that, she actively helps cultivate a more accepting health care system by educating other medical professionals.

David Hamlar

18. HealthPartners ear, nose and throat surgeon Brigadier General David Hamlar, MD

Dr. David Hamlar is part of the National Guard and has worked at Regions Hospital since 1995. During that time, he’s been deployed more than 6 times. To recognize his community leadership, the Minnesota Humanities Center honored him with a Veterans’ Voices Award.

Gwen Verchota

19. virtuwell nurse practitioner Gwen Verchota, PhD, APRN-BC

Gwen Verchota is our lead nurse practitioner for, and a working mom. Yet somehow, she also found enough spare time to earn her PhD. Inspired by her past work with kids with type 1 diabetes, she decided to research adolescents with that autoimmune disease and her findings are now published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal.

Alma Godinez

20. HealthPartners intern Alma Godinez

Alma Godinez, a high school senior, interned at our HealthPartners Specialty Center and with our Sustainability team through the STEP-UP Achieve program. The program connects Minneapolis youth ages 16-21 with paid internships, and Alma applied because she wanted to learn more about health care and hopes to one day be a midwife.

Barbara Dahlke and Janet Roderick

21. Lakeview Hospital volunteers Barbara Dahlke and Janet Roderick

Barbara Dahlke and Janet Roderick have provided warm welcomes to Lakeview Hospital’s patients and visitors for a combined 76 years. The two were honored for their service over National Volunteer Week, and took some time to describe what the hospital was like when they first started helping out decades ago.

Anne Edwards

22. Park Nicollet pediatrician Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP

Dr. Anne Edwards is a passionate advocate for children. She was a co-chair of HealthPartners’ Children’s Health Initiative and a key champion of our message that children’s health starts in families, neighborhoods and schools. And in February 2017, Dr. Edwards was named a Senior Vice President for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Andrea Walsh

23. HealthPartners President and CEO Andrea Walsh

Andrea Walsh was named our organization’s president and CEO in June 2017 when Mary Brainerd retired. Before taking over the CEO spot, Andrea had served nearly 15 years as our chief marketing officer, and has been a senior leader with HealthPartners since 1994. She is also very involved in community work across the Twin Cities.

Back to top