Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Allina Health's CEO on the statewide hospital plea for help

Allina Health President and CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler
Allina Health President and CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler speaks to reporters in 2016 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
Matt Sepic | MPR News 2016

The latest surge of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has been unrelenting. Since Thanksgiving, the number of active coronavirus cases in the state has gone ever higher, hitting a new peak for 2021 last Friday — and hospitals are overwhelmed.

That’s why leaders from nine major health care systems signed and published a full-page ad in newspapers across the state to ask Minnesotans for help. The presidents and CEOs of North Memorial Health, CentraCare, Allina Health, Mayo Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Children's Minnesota and HealthPartners all say the situation in Minnesota hospitals is critical.

At the beginning of the ad, they write, “We’re heartbroken. We’re overwhelmed.”

Dr. Penny Wheeler, CEO of Allina Health, is one of the signees. She joined Cathy Wurzer with more on the situation.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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