Board of Directors
The Life Link III Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the nine consortium organizations and guides the company’s strategic and business initiatives.
John Folstad, Executive Director of Primary Care Development Sacred Heart Hospital
John Folstad is the Executive Director of Primary Care Development at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he has served for 33 years. He has been actively involved in both the local and the State of Wisconsin Trauma System and is a previous member of the Wisconsin State Trauma Advisory Council.
John received a Diploma in Nursing from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
John is married with four children and resides with his family in Eau Claire.
Jo Ann Hoag, Vice President, Network Development, St. Luke’s
Jo Ann Hoag, RN, MA is Vice President of Network Development at St. Luke’s, hospitals and clinic system in Duluth, Minnesota. She provides leadership and direction to the Marketing Department and the Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research and coordinates the regional activities for the system. Her career with St.Luke’s began in 1975 and she has held progressive roles within the organization most recently being the Chief Nursing Officer. Past roles included Director of Emergency Services and the former Luke’s One helicopter service.
Gretchen M. Leiterman Vice President, Operations and Hospital Specialty Services, Regions Hospital
Gretchen has been with HealthPartners at Regions Hospital since 2005. Prior to that she worked for Allina Health System for 5 years and is a healthcare executive with over 20 years of leadership experience. Her current responsibilities include Emergency Medical Services, Trauma, Burn, Emergency Medicine, Cardiovascular Services, Hospital Medicine, Critical Care, Surgical Services, Supply Chain Management, Outstate Business Development and all related metro and Western Wisconsin outreach locations.
Gretchen received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, MN and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She is a Certified Health Insurance Executive and a licensed nursing home Administrator.
John Doherty, Regional President, Greater Minnesota, Fairview Health Services
Mr. Doherty joined Fairview in 2008 and is responsible for capital asset management and Regional Operations and development within Fairview. Prior to joining Fairview, he served in various positions at MeritCare Health System in Fargo, ND, including Chief Financial Officer, System Senior Executive, and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining MeritCare, Mr. Doherty was Vice President of Finance at Riverside Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he also served as Interim Chief Executive Officer. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Doherty was Reimbursement Manager for Fairview Hospitals and Healthcare Services, and from 1981 to 1983 served as General Accounting Supervisor for the Fairview Hospitals. Mr. Doherty is a member of Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.
William Heegaard, MD, MPH, Assistant Chief, Hennepin County Medical Center
Dr. Heegaard graduated from the HCMC EM residency in 1994. He has been a faculty physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center since July 1994. Dr. Heegaard is Assistant Chief at Hennepin County Medical Center and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is an active clinical faculty member, national speaker and researcher. He has served on the Minnesota State Trauma Advisory Board, Life Link III Board and Executive Committee, HFA Board and Executive Committee, and serves as a Life Link III medical director as well as Vice Chair of the Life Link Clinical Council. His research interests include head trauma, pre-hospital ultrasound and neurologic emergencies.
Greg Klugherz, Vice President and CFO, CentraCare Health System
Greg Klugherz joined CentraCare Health System in 2008 as the Vice President and CFO of CentraCare Health System and St. Cloud. Greg is responsible for the finance and treasury functions, as well as the materials management, facilities services, housekeeping, laundry, nutrition services and admitting functions of St. Cloud Hospital.
Prior to CentraCare, Greg was a Vice President at HealthPartners, Minneapolis, serving as CFO for Regions Hospital from 1997 through 2006 followed by serving as the senior financial executive for the 700-provider HealthPartners Medical. Greg was controller/treasury director for Park Nicollet Health Services, Minneapolis, for eight years. He also has worked in finance with GE Capital Fleet Services Inc., Eden Prairie and Deloitte & Touche, Minneapolis.
Greg is a certified public accountant, with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from what now is known as Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Greg was a finalist in the non-profit health care category for the Minnesota Business Journal’s 2007 CFO of the Year Awards.
Jim Leste, MS, CHSP, Senior Director, Environmental Operations, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Jim has been with Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for 14 years, directing multi-disciplinary operations within the 7th largest pediatric hospital and clinic system in the country. This includes two hospitals and multiple clinics and business offices within Minnesota. Jim currently has oversight of Facilities/Engineering, Environmental Services, Nutrition Services, Security, Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Construction, Real Estate and Property Management.
Jim received his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota Duluth as well as a Master’s degree in Safety Engineering. Jim is a Certified Emergency Manager in the State of Minnesota. He also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Saint Mary's University and was past secretary of the Metropolitan Hospital Compact located in Minnesota.
Michael F. McAvoy, MS Vice President of Operations, Essentia Health - East Region
Mike has been with Essentia Health for 7 years. Mike is an executive with 24 years of healthcare leadership experience. He also has a clinical degree in physical therapy and practiced many years in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System before moving into healthcare leadership. Prior to his current role, he has worked in various SE Wisconsin healthcare systems, with a focus on physician practice management and hospital operations.
Edward R. Eroe, MHSA, FACHE, CAE, President and CEO
Mr. Eroe joined Life Link III in 2011. Prior to Life Link III he was the Program Director of MedLink AIR Critical Care Transport at Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin. For the five years preceding, Mr. Eroe was a Partner & CEO of MedServ Management Services, an affiliate company of Fitch & Associates, an internationally known EMS consulting firm.
Prior to MedServ, Mr. Eroe served as Associate Operating Officer for Emergency Services at Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina. The division included emergency, trauma, and critical care transport services, disaster planning, and bed control/transfer center at this academic teaching institution. Before Duke, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of West Michigan Air Care, a critical care helicopter, fixed-wing, and MICU ambulance patient transportation system in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mr. Eroe served as the Assistant Hospital Administrator for Emergency, Trauma, and Ambulatory Services at Fairfax Hospital/Inova Health System, a 656-bed tertiary care center located in Falls Church, Virginia before West Michigan Air Care. During his tenure with Inova Health System, Mr. Eroe also served as Administrator of Intracare, an outpatient intravenous therapy service, started by Inova in 1983. Prior to Intracare, he was Executive Director of Northern Michigan Health Services, a regional, ambulatory, and emergency delivery system in Northern Michigan.
R.J. Frascone, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Frascone is the Medical Director of Regions Hospital EMS which includes the City of St. Paul, Life Link III (rotor and fixed wing) and 26 other agencies. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and has worked in Regions Hospital ED for 32 years. He has been a leader in regional, state and national EMS and is a past Chair for the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board for the state of Minnesota. His research interests include airway management, CPR, intraosseous access and shock. He resides in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with his wife and two children.
David R. Miller, MBA, President, River Falls Area Hospital
David R. Miller serves as the president of River Falls Area Hospital in River Falls, WI, part of Allina Health. The 25 bed critical access hospital excels in its surgical program, cancer program, birth center and emergency services.
Previously, Miller served as the vice president, operations, for United Hospital, a 572 bed tertiary care hospital in St Paul, MN. He led the development of the John Nasseff Neuro Science Institute, the St. Paul Cancer Center and the Peter J. King Emergency Center, along with overseeing many departments and strategic initiatives.
Formally a nationally registered paramedic, he served as president of Allina Health EMS for two decades. He presided over many innovations in the field of emergency medical services and was a principal author for the visionary document titled, “EMS Agenda for the Future.”
Miller earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN. He has two adult sons and is an avid sailboat racer on Lake Superior.
Steve Sterner, MD, FACEP, Chief of Ambulatory Care, Hennepin County Medical Center
Dr. Sterner practices emergency medicine at HCMC. He is board certified in emergency medicine and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is the Chief of Ambulatory Care, in charge of the HCMC clinic system and a member of the HCMC Executive Leadership Team. He is Senior Vice President in charge of Medical Affairs for Hennepin Faculty Associates.
Dr. Sterner graduated from the University of Minnesota medical school. He also completed his residency in Family Practice at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He has a fellowship in Emergency Medicine from Hennepin County Medical Center.