FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2017
Community Dental Care announces new CEO
Safety net dental clinic selects new CEO to succeed founder
SAINT PAUL, MN. – Community Dental Care announced today that has selected Karen Kleinhans as the organization's next chief executive officer. Ms. Kleinhans, who has extensive background in healthcare, and most recently held the position of Vice President of Corporate Development for Fresenius Medical Care North America, will succeed Dr. Vacharee Peterson, the nonprofit’s founder and current CEO, on January 8, 2018.
The selection of Ms. Kleinhans was the result of an extensive search by the Community Dental Care Board of Directors, led by its Board Chair, Cedric Long, and facilitated by a team from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, a professional services firm in Minneapolis. The search process included an initial pool of almost 300 candidates. After careful consideration, a small group of individuals were chosen to interview with a search committee, and narrowed to two excellent candidates who were interviewed by management staff and the entire board.
“We are extremely pleased that Ms. Kleinhans has agreed to lead our clinic into the future,” stated Long. “She has demonstrated her leadership abilities in the healthcare industry through her successful career and shares our passion for serving underserved people.”
“I am honored to be selected to carry forward Community Dental Care’s mission to provide high quality, culturally sensitive dental care, preventive education, professional training and advocacy for access for all,” said Ms. Kleinhans.
Ms. Kleinhans has an extensive background in health care administration and not-for-profit leadership. With over 20 years of experience in health care, including roles in strategy and business development, ambulatory and hospital operations and physician practice management, she offers Community Dental Care seasoned leadership with a broad perspective. She has held various management positions in healthcare with Allina Hospitals and Clinics and Fairview Health Services and has provided consulting services to health care and non-profit organizations in the areas of operations improvement, strategic planning, program management, and program and organization design. She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Masters in Health Administration and Health Care Management from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Currently, Ms. Kleinhans serves as a volunteer board member for Volunteers of America, and is a member of a number of community organizations. A resident of Southwest Minneapolis, she has two high school aged children.
Dr. Vacharee Peterson, who has led Community Dental Care through multiple expansions and enormous growth over the past 35 years, made the decision to transition into semi-retirement over a year ago, giving the board ample time to search for a new CEO. She will “retire” in January to a part-time position as a dentist with Community Dental Care, focusing primarily on serving young children, and intends to enjoy more time with her grandchildren. “I am very excited that Ms. Kleinhans was selected as the new CEO,” she stated. “I am totally confident in her ability to sustain and further expand on our mission, vision, strategies and the strong platform built by our Community Dental Care team and led by our wise board. We are indeed honored that she has accepted the position.”
About Community Dental Care
Community Dental Care is one of the largest nonprofit dental clinics in Minnesota and is recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health as one of six successful models statewide providing general dental services for underserved communities. Their mission is to provide culturally sensitive community oral health care, preventive education and professional training, and to advocate for access to all. Their vision is that all people will have access to high quality, affordable dental care to improve their overall health in a convenient, caring, and respectful environment. Founded by Drs. Vacharee and Andrew Peterson, the clinic was for-profit for 22 years before incorporating as a nonprofit in 2004. Today, they operate three clinics in St. Paul, Maplewood and Robbinsdale, and two clinics in Rochester. By year-end 2017, they will serve over 52,500 individual patients, with 91 percent low income and 48 percent children.
Crystal Yang, Community Dental Care