Paulus is due to take over as CEO of Minneapolis-based Allina this summer. He’ll be taking the wheel from Dick Pettingill, who became CEO in 2002 and rebuilt Allina’s reputation after its split from insurer Medica.
Even without the recession, it’s a challenging time for health care providers. True, health care is still a major industry, and people aren’t getting younger. But there’s also evidence that strapped consumers are cutting back on health care spending. Tough times also mean more uninsured people—and thus more use of the emergency room, a money drain for hospitals. In December, Pettingill said the U.S. health care system needs to be reformed. Paulus and other health care leaders will be on the front lines of these debates.