Our Plan

Across the country, healthcare planning often occurs without community involvement — even though most experts agree that community health is an important part of individual health and addressing health inequities.

At Hennepin Healthcare, we set out to do something remarkably different. Our planning process doesn’t simply consider community. Instead, our strategy is being developed with community insight and engagement as its core driver.

“It’s about doing our part to address the inequities and unjust realities we see in healthcare.”

Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare

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Planning Process

We began this planning process with an intensive focus on community engagement. During that period of focus, we actively sought out your thoughts, experience, ideas and boldest desires for healthcare in the community we share. We did this through several different ways, like pop-ups, creative conversations, digital forums and individual interviews.

Now, we are integrating your input carefully. Our community’s true needs and wishes are always the central focus as we develop plans for our future.


Community and team member engagement are front and center in our future planning that will develop a bold strategy. We are guided by the following principles:

Current CCDP Guiding Principles

  • Advances HHS' ability to achieve equitable, high quality, patient and community centered healthcare
  • Reflects the values, cultures, needs of the patients, families and communities HHS serves
  • Offers an environment that allures and nurtures exceptional team members and empowers them to deliver compassionate care
  • Generates revenue from diverse streams and allocates resources strategically to ensure HHS has the financial capacity to meet its mission


Phase 1: Learning Together

July – October 2021

During this phase, we worked to understand and assess community needs. We achieved this through extensive community engagement, as well as conversations with Hennepin Healthcare employees.

Phase 2: Creating Together

October – December 2021

Using the information and insights gathered during phase one, we are defining, testing and refining approaches to future planning.

Phase 3: Planning Together

December 2021 – February 2022

We will create a bold comprehensive healthcare strategy to create a more just and equitable healthcare system.

Our Commitment to Our Community

Published August 2021

Hennepin Healthcare’s goal is to create a better healthcare system that provides equitable care. We will listen to our community’s input to develop a bold strategy to bring the best in medical care, training, research and innovation to improve all aspects of care.

In keeping with our commitment to health equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, we will carry out:

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An equitable approach to community involvement:

We will learn with our community and focus on its most important issues. We will value our fellow community members’ time and input. Hennepin Healthcare will focus efforts on learning with Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, in addition to team members who reflect the communities we serve, as well as broader community voices across public and private sectors.

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Deep collaboration with community leaders:

We will not only lead a large community learning program to kick off this effort, we will also bring community voices directly to the strategy table. A design team composed of community members will co-create with us to ensure the delivery of a plan that reflects the needs and desires of those experiencing the greatest health inequities.

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A process that builds trust through transparency and technology:

As we learn, our community will learn. We will share information about this project on an accessible website and through multiple other formats. We will also communicate monthly with our community by email and on social media to share our status, learnings and voices of Hennepin Healthcare.

Learn more about our Mission and Commitment to Diversity.

Common Questions

Hennepin Healthcare launched community engagement and future planning to create a more just and equitable healthcare experience in Hennepin County.

The community served by our healthcare system has been directly engaged to share thoughts, ideas and wishes for how they would like to receive healthcare. Collectively, we are now creating a vision for the future of Hennepin Healthcare that improves community benefit, access, outcomes and value.

This effort is centered around listening, learning, collaborating and creating new systems that integrate future organizational plans with the desires and goals of the diverse and vibrant community we are honored to serve. Learn more about our stakeholder engagement approach.

Currently, we are turning the microphone to allteam members to gather more of their creative insights. Learn more about focused team member engagement.

The Learning Together phase came to a close at the end of December. We are moving seamlessly into the Planning Together phase.

During this phase, we are selecting the approaches to future planning considered during Phase Two: Creating Together that have the greatest potential for achieving the needs and wishes shared by our community. We are creating a bold plan to deliver a more just and equitable healthcare system, closely evaluating analyzing what we what the community has shared with us during the Learning Together phase and evaluating the broader healthcare landscape and social influencers of health in Hennepin County.

Since Phase One, we  learned with and from over 1,130 community and team members in English, Somali, Spanish, Lao and Hmong through five different methods. We engaged these communities using both virtual and in-person methods including: key-informant (individual) interviews, small group discussions, community pop-ups, surveys and a community forum.

We are grateful to all who shared their time, energy, experiences and insights with us. We want to specifically thank our team members for your support of this project while simultaneously caring for our patients with great dedication.

We hosted two workshops with our Expert and Artist Design Team, one in person and the other virtual. During these workshops, our open discussions focused on creative solutions to achieve the vision that our community shared with us, dismantle injustices and create more equitable systems to improve healthcare.

In addition, we distributed pre-stamped postcards asking our community to share their artistic vision of what an inclusive and equitable downtown healthcare campus might look like. We collected 187 postcards from community members, patients, family members, loved ones and team members. The creative input from all postcards was carefully reviewed and can be found in the postcard project report.

Download the Learning Together | Engagement Insights Report Overview to read what we learned.

In late January through March, we will be creating opportunities for more team members to engage in the planning process. This will help us ensure our improvements are aimed at building a culture and employer environment based on team member input.

We will also continue to meet with our Expert and Artist Design Team. This group of health equity experts, healthcare professionals, community leaders and artists is working with physicians, leaders and other team members to envision how the insights gathered so far might be put into action.

The completed workshops to-date were energizing, dynamic experiences that fueled future-oriented ideas, creativity and problem-solving. Most importantly, the discussion sparked powerful ideas about how to achieve the vision that you and our community shared with us. The input gathered in 2021 provided a solid foundation to continue to explore potential strategies for how to achieve a more equitable and responsive healthcare system.

This planning process is just the first step in the transformation of Hennepin Healthcare. The next steps will take place over 2022-24 and involve the Board of Directors of Hennepin Healthcare, the county commissioners and the Hennepin Healthcare team in the development of a detailed implementation plan. Only after this implementation plan is completed will the multi-year rebuilding of the campus take place.

Please see our current updates page, Voices of Hennepin Healthcare blog series and sign up for our monthly newsletter from Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare.

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