Debbie Welle-Powell

Debbie Welle-Powell

Chief Population Health Officer
Essentia Health

Debbie Welle-Powell is the Chief Population Health Officer. She leads Essentia’s $3Billion dollar transition from a primarily fee-for-service model of care to one that focused on value and risk-based population health. Welle-Powell’s team is responsible for aligning the Health System’s clinical and economic transformations in support of Essenita’s vision to be the leading health system in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. This includes fostering care management and clinical redesign to ensure that high-value care is delivered across the Health System and working with payers and employers to establish the new economic models that support value-based care such as telemedicine, chronic care, remote patient monitoring and Hospital-at-Home programs. She works with market leaders, payer partners and community stakeholders to develop community-based, risk sharing models focused on wellness, disease prevention and social determinants of health for better health outcomes. She leads the P&L for $900 million of total medical and pharmacy spend (cost, utilization, and outflow) for 180,000 lives in 13 Medicare, Medicaid, and Commercial risk contracts.

Prior to her new appointment, she served as the Senior Vice-President of Accountable Care for Essentia Health. Essentia Health is a 17 hospital, 1500 provider health system spanning the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Essentia is certified at the highest ACO Level III by NCQA. Additionally, she leads the Accountable Care Division with strategic and operational responsibilities for population care management, payer strategy and community health and wellness.

Prior to Essentia, Debbie was the Vice President of Accountable Care and Payer Strategy for SCL Health System, a $2.5B health care system with operations in the states of Colorado, Kansas, and Montana. As a seasoned executive, she led the strategic and market activities for payer negotiations and care management while developing innovative products, services, and technologies.

Welle-Powell has more than twenty years-experience in executive healthcare positions within multi-state regions and integrated provider delivery system. She has extensive experience in leading payer negotiations, practice management, while developing innovative care models and reimbursement and network development strategies supporting a full range of payment models.

Debbie is extremely active in the community and serves on many boards; NAACOS (Chair-Elect), NCQA, Synchrony CareCredit, Duluth Chamber Board (Executive Committee), Destination Duluth and University of MN-Duluth, United Way, Arcadia Pharmaceutical and banking. She taught health policy and macro health care models for Denver University and Regis. Her community service earned her recognitions including Women of Distinction, Colorado’s Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, Outstanding Businesswoman Award, the Frances Wisebart Jacobs Award for Philanthropy from Mile High United Way, Health Care Champion award from Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, and Inspiring Leadership award from CampExperience.

All Sessions by Debbie Welle-Powell