393: A Conversation with Karen Cheeseman

Bill Auxier, Ph.DPodcastLeave a Comment

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, Karen Cheeseman, CEO of Mackinac Straits Health System in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, shares her journey from an HR role to leading a hospital system. In our discussion with Karen, she highlights collaborative relationships in the communities Mackinac Straights Health System serves including how they integrate tribal medicine into a small hospital. Karen shares the story of a newly built facility thanks to innovative ideas and a land donation by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. 

“We’re addressing the care needs in a very comprehensive way in the community, including tribal medicine” 

-Karen Cheeseman

Karen has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mackinac Straits Health System since 2017.  Previously, Karen worked for the health system for many years and held various leadership roles including the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Human Resource Officer.  Karen holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University.  Karen currently serves on the Michigan Health and Hospital Association Board of Directors.  She has served as the Upper Peninsula Hospital Council Chair, the Small and Rural Health Council, and the Legislative Policy Panel for MHA.  Karen is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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