Physician Patient

Who We Are: MPPA Board of Directors 2020

Robert Geist, MD (Secretary)

A retired Saint Paul urologist and founding member of the MPPA Board of Directors, Bob is an esteemed Minnesota healthcare policy leader, analyst, and commentator.  Dr. Geist helped shaped the Minnesota Medical association (MMA) policy on professional (ethical) conflicts of interest when doctors are paid more or less by their clinic for medical care that they do not themselves provide to patients. He has advocated consumer-directed healthcare vehicles such as health care savings accounts (HSA), access to physicians and health care professionals in private practice, market-based medical care price transparency for consumers (patients and families), and expanding medical care insurance choices for all Minnesotans. Bob served as president of the United Hospital Medical staff, the Ramsey County Medical Society (RCMS), president of the Minnesota Urological Society and on the MMA Board of Directors. As Chair of the RCMS Council on Professionalism and Ethics Forum which met 4-5 times per year for over a decade, this gathering of lay and medical leaders featured expert speakers from various perspectives debating and examining political and economic policy proposals to reduce/rationalize the costs of medical care in Minnesota. The Ramsey Forum was continued by the Twin Cities Medical Society following merger of the Ramsey and Hennepin County Medical Societies. Bob Geist is a champion of fiduciary medical professionalism and Hippocratic patient-physician relationships. He has written dozens of published scientific and medical-political articles, essays, opinion-editorials, and letters to editors.

Lee Beecher, MD (Past president)

A founder of MPPA in 1997, Lee is an advocate for and student of patient empowerment, patient-centered medical care, data privacy, and (patient-controlled) confidentiality for medical and psychiatric treatment. Dr. Beecher closed his 42 year Saint Louis Park psychiatry and addiction medicine practice in 2014. Opting out of all insurance and Medicare provider agreements in 2005, he adopted a Direct Pay (cash practice) model for his outpatient psychiatry practice (see Direct Pay psychiatric practice on the MPPA homepage). Lee is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DLFAPA), Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, taught in the Methodist Hospital/University of Minnesota family practice residency program, and was an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota from 2006 to 2015. He was the inaugural recipient of the “First A physician Award” from the Twin Cities Medical Society in 2006, a Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine “Top Doc” in 2007, and named as among the Top 100 Minnesota Health Care Leaders in 2004, 2008, and 2012 by the Minnesota Physician Magazine. Dr. Beecher authored the 2017 book Passion for Patients with Dave Racer. Click on also to see his CV and publications. Dr. Beecher served as president of MPPA from 1997 to 2002, and from 2003 to July 31, 2020.

Lee Kurisko, MD

Lee is a practicing radiologist in the Twin Cities. Dr. Kurisko began his professional career in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Disatisfied with the Canadian health care system, he and his wife moved to Minnesota. And he has written authoritatively on the Canadian health care system; see

Michael Ainslie, MD

Mike served as Treasurer, President, and Board Chair of the West Metro Medical Society, which is now the Twin Cities Medical Society (TCMS). For six years until 2009 he was Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA). Dr. Ainslie practiced pediatric endocrinology at the Park Nicollet Clinic (HealthPartners) in Saint Louis Park, MN until 2013. He now is a consultant. Mike is a staunch patient advocate and proponent of consumer-directed, market-based healthcare and insurance coverage. Born in Iowa and raised in Chicago, Mike is proud to be Minnesota resident since 1977.

Douglas Smith, MD

Doug is a board certified practicing family physician with a career-long interest in patient’s access to care and cost-effective treatment models. He currently practices medicine in a solo Direct Pay office in Long Lake, Minnesota. Dr. Smith was the medical founder of MinuteClinc and its retail clinic model, and is currently the Chief Medical Officer for Consult A Doctor, a national telemedicine company focused on care delivery models.

David Feinwachs, JD, PhD

Dave Feinwachs joined the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) in 1981, and served as MHA’s general counsel and director of advocacy until 2010. With varied talents and expertise, Dave is a licensed nursing home administrator, an assistant professor of health law and policy at the University of Minnesota, and a teacher in the U. of M. School of Public Health. Dave holds Masters’ degrees in Hospital Administration and Medical Sociology and a Ph.D. in health care management from the University of Minnesota, as well as a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law. In 2005, Dave was named among Minnesota’s 25 most influential healthcare lawyers by Minnesota Physician Magazine. In 2011, he received the Minnesota Nurses Association Paul and Sheila Wellstone Social Justice Award — “Given to someone who speaks out “courageously and consistently for others” and has had an “unwavering voice…undiminished by political tides.” In 2012, he was the recipient of the Health Reform Advocate of the Year award given by the Seven County Senior Federation and the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition.  Dave has testified before Congressional Committees and the Minnesota Legislature on issues of Medicaid fraud and lack of transparency and accountability in Minnesota’s public health care programs

Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, MTS

Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, MTS, FACP, strongly believes that medicine is a profession in the service of healing. Greg is a consultative internist and pediatrician who (consciously) chose to attend Harvard University Divinity School and train as a hospital chaplain before entering medical school. In 2016, after more than 20 years in public, university and corporate practice Greg (consciously) chose to open a private, independent practice dedicated to serving patients with chronic, complex illness. He is an active clinician, teacher and researcher with more than 60 first authored articles in the peer-reviewed literature and 23 textbook chapters. While in medical school at the University of Minnesota and while a professor at Keio University Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, he led successful programs to infuse students with a sworn commitment to Hippocratic ideals. This extended to his introduction of the White Coat Ceremony (“hakui shiki”) to Keio University and then to several other Japanese medical schools. For his efforts, he has been awarded an early career distinguished achievement award from both Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Medical School. And, in 2015, the Minnesota Medical Association named him as one of three “Inspiring Physicians.”

Wayne Zuehlke, CPA (Inactive)

Wayne is a retired financial executive with a diverse background in corporate and public
accounting in technology, distribution, service, manufacturing and leasing industries. He
is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and a Certified Public Accountant and has
successfully managed all financial functions in companies from start-up to mid-size.
Early in his career, he audited many Twin Cities hospitals and has continued to be
interested in the business and economics of medicine.

Carl Burkland, MD

Carl is a retired board-certified family physician who, for forty years, practiced family medicine in New Prague,
Minnesota. A graduate of the University of Iowa Medical School in 1970, he
completed a family practice residency at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital in 1973.
Dr. Burkand is a long-standing member of the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) where he served on the Board of Trustees. He is a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), and he served on the West Metro Medical Society (now TCMS) governing Board for over 25 years. In 2008 Dr. Burkland received the West Metro Medical Society First a Physician Award
A devotee of sound public policy, Carl developed and submitted policy resolutions in the MMA House of Delegates, including: Increasing the MN state alcohol excise tax by 10 cents, implementing social host law, banning the use of hand-held cellphones when driving, expanding paid employee sick leave, obtaining two-party consent for medical audio-visual
recordings, and understanding the adverse public health consequences of pornography.
In his town newspaper, Dr. Carl successfully advocated for a social host law in New Prague, MN.
He is a loyal, proud, and long-suffering 40-year season ticket holder for the Minnesota Football Gophers.

Mark Holder, MD

See Dr. Holder’s website below:

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