Leaders in Health Care: Outstanding Health Care Professional

Patrick McGann, DDS, HealthPartners Dental

By Caitlin Hill

Dr. Patrick McGann of HealthPartners Brooklyn Center Dental Clinic estimates that he's extracted more than 9,000 teeth since his residency at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center where he focused in oral surgery. And though it may not be the most pleasant experience for patients, they continue to give McGann rave reviews.

"What I enjoy most about dentistry is helping people realize that taking care of their dental needs can be easy and comfortable," he explains.

Prior to dental school, McGann worked in information technology in the health care field. "After several years of that, I realized what I enjoyed most about my job was interacting with people, so I decided on a career change that allowed me to work directly with people and help them achieve better health," he says.

Beyond helping patients throughout the past 10 years, McGann is also dedicated to improving the health of the community. He volunteers regularly at the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul, providing free extractions to people in need and mentors the next generation of dentists from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. McGann also teams up with hundreds of service providers and volunteers for the twice-yearly Project Homeless Connect. For the past three years, he has joined another HealthPartners dentist, Dr. Paul Musherure, on a trip to Uganda to provide free dental care to kids, many of whom are HIV positive.

"My greatest accomplishments are the patients I've helped to go from a painful, disease-ridden mouth to a full, healthy and pain-free dentition," he says. "The satisfaction and pride they experience at the end of treatment is what motivates me."

Outstanding Health Care Professional Finalists

Y. Ralph Chu, M.D., Chu Vision Institute

Dr. Y. Ralph Chu continues to make a name for himself with his self-financed, privately owned clinics-Chu Vision Institute and Chu Surgery Center. However, he is also recognized as an international leader in refractive and cataract surgery and has participated in more than 50 clinical evaluations and FDA clinical and corneal trials.

Chu is also involved in developing medical technologies and is responsible for creating tools to improve the results of cataract surgeries, including the Chu LRI Marker and Chu LRI Knife. Today, more than 200 doctors worldwide use Dr. Chu's technologies. Additionally, last spring Chu was honored with the Senior Advancement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Carol Kraft, Select Account, Inc.

Carol Kraft has been a force in the health care industry for more than 30 years. Currently serving as president and chief operating officer at SelectAccount, Inc., Kraft also serves on the board of directors of CCStpa.

Known as an expert in the fundamentals of financial services delivery, Kraft has overseen multi-million dollar investments in operations and deployments of technology in both the spending account and health plan business.

Outside of work, Kraft is immediate past president of the Women's Health Leadership Trust, an organization committed to empowering and supporting women executives. In 2011, she received the Jean Harris Award from the Women's Health Leadership Trust for her outstanding contributions in health care leadership.

[View the full list of the 2012 Leaders in Health Care winners and finalists here]