Children’s Minnesota Executive Leadership Team

Marc Gorelick, MD, president and CEO

Marc Gorelick, MD
President, chief executive officer

Marc Gorelick, MD, was appointed chief executive officer of Children’s Minnesota in December 2017. He joined Children’s in March 2017 as president and chief operating officer. He is deeply committed to identifying sustainable ways Children’s can continue to deliver exceptional care in an evolving health care environment.

Dr. Gorelick previously served as Executive Vice President and COO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. A pediatric emergency medicine physician by training, his prior experience includes faculty positions at Medical College of Wisconsin and University of Pennsylvania, and clinical and leadership roles at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, AI DuPont Hospital for Children and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

His education includes an A.B. degree in history from Princeton University, an M.D. degree from Duke University, and a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gorelick trained in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, and in pediatric emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Gorelick’s interests include running, cycling and paddling, homebrewing, and playing the tuba.

James Burroughs

James Burroughs
Vice president, chief equity and inclusion officer

James Burroughs joined Children’s Minnesota as the first chief equity and inclusion officer in January 2019, and is now vice president and chief equity and inclusion officer, responsible for advancing equity and inclusion in all parts of the organization. This includes delivering equitable, quality care for patients and their families, fostering a culture of inclusion in which all employees can be their full selves and ensuring that community members from all walks of life feel like valued partners.

James’ key focus areas include patient quality initiatives, employee recruitment and retention strategies, and organizational culture. His work also focuses on increasing financial investment and spend with diverse businesses and supporting initiatives that address the social determinants of health for patients and families.

James has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of nonprofit management, equity, diversity, inclusion, as well as employment law. He has an extensive background in developing workplace equity, diversity and inclusion training, creating policies and procedures that promote hiring and retention of employees of color, and forging robust partnerships with communities of color and other diverse demographics.

Most recently, he served in the Office of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, where he was the State of Minnesota’s first chief inclusion officer. James began his career as an attorney, holding faculty roles at Hamline University’s School of Law and the University of Minnesota’s School of Law. He practiced law at the United States Office of the Federal Defender and Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He also has a background in education, holding leadership roles at Summit Academy as the chief operating officer and general counsel, as well as Minneapolis Public Schools as the executive director for the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Laurin Cathey
Vice president, chief human resources officer

Laurin Cathey joined Children’s Minnesota in September 2019, and is responsible for all human resource functions including HR business partners and consultants, labor relations, organizational development and learning, talent acquisition, benefits and compensation and information systems.

Mr. Cathey brings more than 20 years of experience working in labor and employee relations with considerable experience in and a passion for diversity, inclusion and change management. Prior to joining Children’s Minnesota, Mr. Cathey worked at St. Paul Public Schools where he was the executive director of human resources and ING as HR director. Within those roles, he led diversity management operations, culture and employee engagement efforts, performance management and executive coaching.

Mr. Cathey holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Mr. Cathey’s interests include cooking, playing golf and attending the arts or athletic events of one of his three children.

Emily Chapman, MD Chief medical officer, vice president of medical affairs

Emily Chapman, MD
Chief medical officer, senior vice president of medical affairs

Emily Chapman, MD, oversees quality and safety, education and research, and supports the Children’s Minnesota employed and independent clinicians of the professional staff.

She continues clinical practice as a pediatric hospitalist in the Children’s Hospital Medicine Program which she led for six years through its development and expansion. Additionally, Dr. Chapman is devoted to Medical Education having served as Associate Director of Medical Education at Children’s and Associate Program Director of the Pediatric Residency Program at the University of Minnesota where she holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Chapman trained at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Minnesota. After residency, she practiced general pediatrics as an owner and President of the Wayzata Children’s Clinic outside the Twin Cities.

Dr. Chapman speaks locally and regionally on topics including clinical care, cognitive error, leadership and program development.

Maria Christu, Chief legal officer, vice president advocacy and health policy

Maria C. Christu, JD
Chief legal officer, senior vice president advocacy and health policy

Maria Christu joined Children’s Minnesota as its first general counsel in 2003. In her current role, she oversees legal services, risk management, compliance and information security. Ms. Christu also leads the advocacy function at Children’s, including government affairs. Prior to joining Children’s, Ms. Christu spent nine years as an associate general counsel at UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, where her work included legal support for United’s Medicare and Medicaid programs. Maria began her career in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, serving as counsel for the medical and nursing licensing boards as well as the Minnesota Department of Health.

Ms. Christu is active in the community serving as past chair and current director of the board of directors of Way to Grow, a member of the board of directors for Girls on the Run Twin Cities and the Minnesota Advisory Board of the Children’s Defense Fund, and a member of the Mitchell Hamline Health Law Advisory Board. In 2013, Ms. Christu was recognized as a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business honoree.

Ms. Christu’s interests include running, travel and community service.

Dave Lundal
Chief information officer and vice president of ITS

Dave Lundal joined Children’s Minnesota in March 2019 as acting chief information officer, he was named chief information officer and vice president of ITS in February 2020. He is responsible for the strategic direction and technical support of all information systems supporting the hospitals and clinics. He also provides leadership for the Health Information Management department, which maintains the confidentiality, quality and timeliness of medical records and health information.

Mr. Lundal brings more than 25 years of experience in health care information technology and leadership in domains including ambulatory, hospital, home care and insurance. He recently held leadership positions at WellStar Health System, Presence Health and SSM Health.

His education includes Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Bloomington and an MBA from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.

In his spare time, Mr. Lundal enjoys reading, hiking, coaching youth sports, and spending time with his wife and their three children.

Brenda McCormick
Chief financial officer and senior vice president

Brenda McCormick joined Children’s Minnesota in August 2019, and is responsible for the leadership, direction and performance of all finance functions, including accounting and financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, health information management, investments, payer contracting and strategic pricing, revenue management and treasury.

Ms. McCormick’s background includes strategic planning, controllership, mergers and acquisitions and business operations. Previously, she was the chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance at Smiths Medical and served as the vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer at Valspar. She has held financial management positions at Lawson Software, International Multifoods, The Pillsbury Company (Diageo) and Coca-Cola Enterprises. She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and her MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota.

Ms. McCormick volunteers her time as the Children’s Minnesota representative on the Ridgeview Medical Center Board, as a member of the St. Olaf College Board of Regents, and as Chair of the St. Olaf Alumni Board.

In 2020, Ms. McCormick was recognized as a CFO of the Year Honoree by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and in 2020 and 2015 as a Top Women in Finance Honoree by Finance & Commerce.

Ms. McCormick and her husband have two teenage children. Her interests include spending time at their family cabin, hiking and photography.

Caroline Njau

Caroline Njau, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC
Senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer

Caroline (Ndungu) Njau joined Children’s Minnesota in March 2021 and is responsible for patient care operations, including nursing and patient and family services, as well as nursing strategy, education and professional development.

Ms. Njau previously served as the director of hospital and nursing operations at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital where she also co-led the Health Equity Initiative for last several years. Caroline was broadly accountable for inpatient flow and efficiency initiatives, served as a consistent dyad partner to the chief medical officer in joint clinical improvement initiatives, and engaged significantly with union relationships. She began her nursing career in medical-telemetry units at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Ms. Njau earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kennesaw State University in Georgia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Ms. Njau’s interests include spending time with her husband and two children, mentoring teenagers in her faith community and cooking.

Jennifer Olson

Jennifer M. Olson, MBA
Senior vice president, chief operating officer

Jennifer M. Olson, MBA, is a highly regarded, award-winning health care executive best known for her strategic and operational leadership in driving enterprise health care solutions. Ms. Olson is currently the senior vice president, chief operating officer at Children’s Minnesota. In this role, she oversees vital areas of health system operations, including inpatient, ambulatory, diagnostic services, pharmacy, partnerships, strategic planning and growth, value and clinical excellence, marketing/communications, and provider outreach. Ms. Olson also provides strategic and operational oversight of the Mother Baby Fetal, Cardiovascular and Neurosciences Institutes.

Prior to this role, Ms. Olson served as senior vice president of system operations and chief strategy officer for Children’s Minnesota. From 2010–2015, she was the vice president of operations for the Mother Baby clinical service line, a collaboration between Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health. Prior to her career at Children’s Minnesota, she held roles at Deloitte Consulting and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Ms. Olson earned her MBA with a focus in Management and Health Care, and an undergraduate degree in Finance, both from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Jennifer Soderholm
Chief development officer and President of the Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Jennifer Soderholm is responsible for planning, growing, staffing and executing the development program at Children’s Minnesota to champion the health needs of children and families. She joined the organization in August 2019.

Ms. Soderholm brings more than 26 years of fundraising and leadership experience. She recently served as executive vice president and chief development officer at Planned Parenthood North Central States, where she oversaw a 38-person team and all aspects of fundraising strategy and operations for the five-state region. Ms. Soderholm has also served as president of Children’s HeartLink, a Twin Cities-based international non-profit and had enjoyed more than twenty years of fundraising at the University of Minnesota for medical research, education and care, ending her tenure serving as vice president of development, Medical School and University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Fairview, including University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview clinical service lines.

Ms. Soderholm was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minn., and is the youngest of eight children. She met her husband, John, at the University of Minnesota. They have been married 30 years and have two adult daughters, Maggie and Ellie. They currently live in downtown Minneapolis. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, hiking and spending time with her family and friends.