After spending a year and a half working at Press Ganey, Helen Strike will return to Allina Health as president of the Regina Hospital in Hastings and River Falls Area Hospital, effective June 1. Strike previously served as president of Allina's Unity Hospital in Fridley, Minn., from 2013-2016.
"I love Alina Health. Their values and mission fit well with mine. They have a strong focus on doing the right thing for the patients and employees. I really enjoyed my time working here before, so I was looking forward to coming back," Strike said. "Most of my knowledge of Minnesota is in the Lakeville, St. Paul and Fridley area. So I'm really excited to learn about River Falls and Hastings. What I know so far is that they are two extremely supportive communities when it comes to their hospitals, staff and physicians. Everyone has a really strong sense of family and community ... So I'm excited to join those two hospitals."
Strike was born and raised in London, Ontario, Canada, where she studied to become a Canadian registered nurse. In 1990, she moved to Beijing, China with her husband and family. After living in Beijing for several years, Strike moved to Singapore before relocating to Minneapolis in 2001. During her career in the United States, Strike was a director of cardiovascular services at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, chief nursing officer at both Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville and HealthEast St. Joseph's Hospital before working at Navigant Consulting for just less than a year.
"I have known Helen a long time and I can't think of a better leader for this role," said Mike McMahan, Allina Health Chief Integration Officer. "Her background as a registered nurse, her experience as a leader, combined with her knowledge of Allina Health and her embrace of forward-looking tools and processes make her the ideal leader to ensure River Falls and Regina continue to serve their communities with outstanding care."
According to External Communications Advisor Tim Burke, both outgoing presidents at Regina and River Falls Area hospitals are retiring. Tom Thompson has been president at Regina Hospital since 2015. Previously, he served as president and CEO of Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake, Wash. David Miller has been president of River Falls Area Hospital since late 2008. In his 30 years with Allina, Miller served in a number of capacities including as president of Allina Health Emergency Medical Services and as vice president, operations, for United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.
"There will certainly be a good period of time of listening, learning and meeting everyone. I hope to find out who and what our strengths are, and how many great things we are doing to support the community," Strike said. "I'm also looking to learn more about the focus long-term that Allina has for the community and the individual hospitals."
With her years of experience, Strike feels she will be more than capable of taking on the responsibility of being president at both hospitals. However, she also recognizes the great work her predecessors have done.
"I look forward to building on the strong leadership that has been provided by the previous presidents. I know that I have giant shoes to fill and I really look forward to continuing on with the very strong leadership at River Falls," Strike said.