Board of Directors
The Life Link III Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the nine consortium organizations and guides the company’s strategic and business initiatives.
Steven Sterner, MD, Chief of Provider Services
Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc.
Dr. Steve Sterner practices emergency medicine at HCMC, where he is also the Chief of Provider Services and a member of the HCMC Executive Leadership Team. Dr. Sterner has led the transformation of the HCMC clinics to an ambulatory care system since 2007. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Hennepin Faculty Associates from 2005-20012. Dr. Sterner is board certified in emergency medicine and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School where he also completed his residency in Family Practice. He has a fellowship in Emergency Medicine from Hennepin County Medical Center.
James Garvey, Senior Vice President, East Region Hospital Operations
Essentia Health - St. Mary's Medical Center
James Garvey has been with Essentia Health since 2013. Prior to joining Essentia Health, he was Director of Healthcare Consulting for Wipfli, LLP. Other leadership positions have included being Vice President of Operations and Specialty Care Services at North Memorial Health Care, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Premier Inc., and Vice President of McKesson Corporation. James is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and St. Louis University with a Masters in Health Administration and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a long standing member of the American College of Health Care Executives and Health Financial Management Association.
Jim Leste, MS, CHSP, Senior Director of Support Operations
Jim Leste has been with Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota since 1999. He currently has oversight of Facilities/Engineering, Materials Management, Environmental Services, Nutrition Services, Security, Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Construction, Real Estate and Property Management. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota Duluth as well as a Master’s degree in Safety Engineering. He is a Certified Emergency Manager in the State of Minnesota. He also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Saint Mary's University and was a past officer of the Metropolitan Hospital Compact located in Minnesota.
John Folstad, VP, Strategy Development and Implementation
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
John Folstad is the Executive Director of Primary Care Development at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he has served for 36 years. He has been actively involved in both the local and the State of Wisconsin Trauma System and is a previous member of the Wisconsin State Trauma Advisory Council. John received a Diploma in Nursing from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
John Doherty, Interim Regional President, Central Region and System Executive, Business Affiliations and Partnerships
Fairview Health Services
John Doherty joined Fairview in 2008 and is responsible for Business Development and Partnerships at Fairview. Prior to joining Fairview, he served in various positions at MeritCare Health System in Fargo, ND, including Chief Financial Officer, System Senior Executive, and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining MeritCare, he was Vice President of Finance at Riverside Medical Center in Minneapolis where he also served as Interim Chief Executive Officer. He is a member of Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joseph D. Hellie, VP, Strategy & Network Development
Joseph Hellie began his health career as a nursing assistant and EMT in rural Iowa. After completing a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota he started his professional career with St. Cloud Hospital in 1992, and has worked in clinic management, hospital operations, graduate medical education and regional disaster preparedness. As Vice President of Strategy and Network Development for CentraCare Health, Mr. Hellie is responsible for strategic planning and business development. He also has responsibilities for emergency medical services within the CentraCare Health system.
Eric M. Lohn, VP & Chief Financial Officer
St. Luke's Hospital of Duluth
Mr. Lohn has been employed by St. Luke’s, hospitals and clinic system in Duluth since 2013. Mr. Lohn is responsible for the Financial, Treasury, Health Information and related functions for the St. Luke’s System and its wholly owned subsidiaries. Prior to St. Luke’s, Mr. Lohn was the Regional Chief Financial Officer for CentraCare Health System from 1999 through 2013. Eric was Chief Financial Officer for CentraCare Health-Melrose form 1995 through 1999. Mr. Lohn received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration and Business Administration from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and Moorhead State University. He received his Masters of Business Administration from St. Cloud State University. Mr. Lohn has achieved the designation of a Certified Health Care Financial Professional and is a Fellow in the Health Care Financial Management Association (HFMA). He has served on the Board of Directors for the State Chapter of HFMA for five years.
David R. Miller
Allina Health; River Falls Area Hospital
David R. Miller serves as the president of River Falls Area Hospital in River Falls, WI, part of Allina Health. The 25 bed critical access hospital excels in its surgical program, cancer program, birth center and emergency services. Previously, David served as the Vice President of Operations for United Hospital, a 572 bed tertiary care hospital in St Paul, MN. He led the development of the John Nasseff Neuro Science Institute, the St. Paul Cancer Center, and the Peter J. King Emergency Center, along with overseeing many departments and strategic initiatives. Formally a nationally registered paramedic, he served as president of Allina Health EMS for two decades. He presided over many innovations in the field of emergency medical services and was a principal author for the visionary document titled, “EMS Agenda for the Future.” Miller earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN.
Mike McAvoy, VP, Operations & Hospital Specialty Services
Health Partners; Regions Hospital
Mike, and his physician partner, Burke Kealey, MD, support several physician specialties and departments at Regions Hospital. Their focus is making Regions Hospital the best place to receive care, the most efficient place for clinicians to practice, and the most rewarding place for our employees to work.
Mike supports, and is responsible for, the following areas, Hospital Medicine (Hospitalists), Cardiology, Cardio-Vascular Surgery, Emergency Department, Medical Intensivists, Emergency Medicine Services, Burn Program, Trauma Services, Sleep Center, and Home Medical Equipment.
R.J. Frascone, MD, FACEP, Medical Director
Health Partners; Regions Hospital
Chief Medical Officer
John L. Hick, MD
Hennepin County Medical Center
Vice Chair - Clinical Council
Edward R. Eroe
Life Link III
President and CEO