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ICSI New President and CEO

The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) Board of Directors announced that Claire S. Neely, MD has been named President and CEO, effective immediately. Dr. Neely has served as ICSI’s Chief Medical Officer since 2015, and has been with the organization since 2009. Along with her work as a healthcare leader over the past three decades, Neely maintained a practice in Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine for over thirty years and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1995 and a board-certified Pediatrician since 1985. 

“Claire Neely represents the type of leadership that healthcare needs today to continue to transform and adapt to our changing industry,” said Paula Santrach, MD, ICSI Board of Directors Chair and Chief Quality Officer for Mayo Clinic. “In her roles at ICSI, HealthPartners, and as a physician responsible for the care of children and adolescents, she has had a significant impact on the lives of individuals, on the organizations she’s served, and on the overall quality of healthcare in Minnesota. I cannot wait to see what she is able to accomplish in her new position as President and CEO of ICSI.” 

Neely will assume the role of President from David Abelson, MD who has been acting President of the organization for the past two years. “Claire Neely has been instrumental in guiding us through immense change in recent years. I’m confident she is the right person to lead ICSI as it continues to transform and innovate in new and exciting ways to serve our community.”  

Neely’s accomplishments while at ICSI have been extensive. As Chief Medical Officer, she has been responsible for leading strategy and operations for the MN Health Collaborative. The MN Health Collaborative brings physicians and other representatives from major healthcare organizations together to address major health topics affecting Minnesota communities. Neely has been instrumental in driving the Collaborative’s initiatives, including the development of new post-operative prescription practices for opioids.  Before her role as CMO, Dr. Neely served as the Operations Director for COMPASS (Care of Mental and Physical and Substance-Use Syndromes) a $17 million national project, led by ICSI and funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation.

Prior to joining ICSI, Neely worked for HealthPartners, where from 1990 – 2007 she was Chief of Professional Services for the HealthPartners Arden Hills Clinic while also maintaining a thriving pediatric practice.  A lifelong learner and champion of continuous improvement in healthcare, over the course of her career Neely has pursued additional education and led numerous initiatives focused on advancements in quality, change management, evidence-based guidelines and patient-centered care.  

“This new role at ICSI represents the culmination of work I’ve been doing my entire career, starting as a practicing pediatrician,” said Neely. “The kind of change we need right now in healthcare won’t come about merely from quality improvement and strong management techniques. We have to work on the connections not only between provider and patient, but between healthcare organizations and others in the community to build a more collaborative, coherent approach to healthcare that lowers costs, improves population health, and most importantly increases the quality of care for every individual.” Neely added she is excited about new initiatives within the MN Health Collaborative including a continued focus on reducing the impacts of opioid addiction as well as improving care for people with mental health needs.  

Neely received her Medical Degree in 1980 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She was a Resident in Pediatrics at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, including Chief Resident in Pediatrics from 1982-1983.  Neely attended the Physician Leadership College, Center for Health and Medical Affairs at the University of St. Thomas and was a Bush Medical Fellow from 2005-2008.