Health Professional News, Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota names Jennifer Olson as Chief Operating Officer

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (Dec. 17, 2020)Jennifer OlsonJennifer Olson, MBA, has been named senior vice president, chief operating officer (COO) of Children’s Minnesota. Olson has been at Children’s Minnesota since 2001, most recently serving as senior vice president of system operations and chief strategy officer. She succeeds Trevor Sawallish who is leaving Children’s Minnesota for personal and professional reasons.

“While it’s always hard to lose a person of Trevor’s caliber, we wish him well on his new venture. We are fortunate to have the experienced leadership of Jennifer ready to fill this role.” said Marc Gorelick, MD, president and chief executive officer. “With nearly two decades of experience at Children’s Minnesota, Jennifer’s transition to COO will be seamless and we look forward to her leadership and vision as we work to design the next generation of pediatric care.”

Sawallish is leaving Children’s Minnesota to become vice president of regional medical group operations with SSM Health, an integrated health care system based in St. Louis. Sawallish will oversee SSM’s operations in 22 counties throughout Wisconsin. The move will allow him to locate to the city in which he lives, eliminating a four-hour commute and spending more time with his young family.

Olson has served in several key operational and strategic leadership roles in her 19 years with Children’s Minnesota. In her current role, Olson oversees strategic planning, partnerships, innovation, marketing and communications, provider outreach, organizational planning and analytics, and human resources. Olson earned her MBA with a focus in management and health care, and her bachelor’s degree in finance, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

“I’m honored to be chosen as COO of Children’s Minnesota and look forward to continuing to drive value for our patients and families,” said Olson. “As we look ahead into the new year and beyond, we will build on the best of what makes Children’s Minnesota unique and reimagine our future to provide an even better and more patient-centered experience for the communities we serve.”

Olson will begin the transition to her new role immediately and will assume the title of COO on Feb. 12, Sawallish’s last day at Children’s Minnesota. It is expected that the interim leadership structure will remain in place through 2021.

Dina Elrashidy