Jim Leste to depart Children’s Minnesota after 25 years of service

Jim LesteMINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (June 26, 2024) – After 25 years of dedicated service, Jim Leste, our Vice President of Operations, is leaving Children’s Minnesota effective July 19th to pursue an exciting new opportunity as Chief Administrative Officer at The University of Iowa Health Care Stead Family Children’s Hospital. 

Jim’s journey with Children’s Minnesota began in April 1999 as a Safety/Risk Specialist. Over the next quarter century, he would hold various leadership roles, including Safety Manager, Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Management, Senior Director of Support Operations, and Vice President of Support Operations, before stepping into his current role in June 2021. His tenure has been marked by his unwavering commitment to improving patient care and operational efficiency across our healthcare system.  

Jim’s efforts were crucial in responding to high-profile events like the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina pediatric response at Camp Ripley, and the 2020 Minneapolis/St. Paul civil unrest. Jim also had oversight on more than $1 billion in construction during his time here, including The Child Life Zone. He was appointed to the U.S. Secret Service Command Center as the Twin Cities Hospital Liaison during the 2008 Republican National Convention. He facilitated several Foundation events, like the Shine Bright Night skating party with the Minnesota Wild. He has been a champion of sustainability, leading initiatives that earned Children’s Minnesota the Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth.  

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Jim has been deeply involved in the community, serving on the boards of Life Link III, Healthcare Linen Cooperative Services, and Nexus Youth and Family Solutions.   

Of his time at Children’s Minnesota, Jim says, “This organization has been more than a place to come to work. For 25 years, it’s been a second home. The people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had here have shaped who I am. I leave nothing of what I’ve learned behind. Children’s Minnesota will always be a part of me.” 

Jim’s departure is a significant loss for our organization, but we are confident his legacy will continue to inspire us. Please join us in wishing Jim all the best in his future endeavors. 

Thank you, Jim, for your remarkable service and the positive impact you have made on Children’s Minnesota and especially the kids and community we serve. 

Dina Elrashidy