Portrait of Susan Gehlsen

Susan Gehlsen

Executive director, St. Mary’s Health Clinics


Sue Gehlsen believes that health care should be available to all, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. She leads St. Mary’s Health Clinics’ seven neighborhood clinics in St. Paul, which provide free medical services and education to 2,000 uninsured or uninsurable patients. When Covid-19 threatened to disrupt the way St. Mary’s interacts with patients, Gehlsen led her staff to imagine new ways to continue essential services and serve patients’ other vital needs, such as money for food, rent, and utilities. Under her leadership, St. Mary’s received a platinum seal from the National Association of Free Clinics and a 2020 Innovative Covid-19 Response Award from the Many Faces of Community Health Conference.