Physician Patient

Who We Are: MPPA Board of Directors 2018

Lee Beecher, MD (President)

A founder of MPPA in 1997, Lee is an advocate for and student of patient empowerment, patient-centered medical care, privacy and confidentiality in psychiatric treatment, and market-driven healthcare insurance reform. He closed his 42 year Saint Louis Park psychiatry and addiction psychiatry practice in 2014. Opting out of all insurance and Medicare provider agreements in 2005, he ascribes to the Direct Pay (cash practice) model for outpatient psychiatric practice (see Direct Pay psychiatric practice on the homepage). Lee is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, taught in the Methodist Hospital family practice residency program years ago, and was an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota from 2006 to 2015. Dr. Beecher was honored as the first 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 among the Top 100 Minnesota Health Care Leaders in 2004, 2008 and 2012 by Minnesota Physician Magazine. With Dave Racer, Dr. Beecher is the author of the 2017 book Passion for Patients http://leebeecher.com/home.html

Robert Geist, MD (Secretary)

A retired Saint Paul urologist, Bob is an esteemed Minnesota healthcare policy leader, analyst, and commentator. He helped shape Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) policy on professional (ethical) conflicts of interest for physicians taking financial risks for the costs of health care they do not themselves provide to patients. Bob supports consumer-directed healthcare such as health care savings accounts (HSA) and access to private sector physicians and healthcare insurance choices for all Minnesotans. He was president of the United Hospital Medical staff, the Ramsey County Medical Society, and the MN Urological Society. He was Chair of MMA Committee on Ethics and Medical Legal Affairs and served on the MMA Board. He was Chair of the RCMS Council on Professionalism and Ethics, and the TCMS Forum—for over a decade of meetings 4-5 times per year these gatherings of lay and medical leaders heard expert speakers of all perspectives in order to explore the many political economic panaceas posed to fix medicine’s cost problems and to analyze the importance of professionalism in the patient-physician relationship. He has authored dozens of published scientific and medical-political articles, essays, opinion-editorials, and letters to editors. Bob serves as Secretary of MPPA.
Bob is a founding director of MPPA.

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 http://www.amazon.com/Health-Reform-The-American-Revolution/dp/0977753441

Hannelore Brucker, MD.

Dr. Hannelore Brucker, an Edina allergist for 23 years, is a Fellow of the ACP, a member of the AAAAI, and a Scientific Fellow of the ACAAI. Recognized as a “Top Doc” in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, Hannelore passionately and effectively achieves optimal medical outcomes for her patients — and she brings this experience to MPPA Board discussions.

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.

Dave Racer, MLitt

Dave received his Master of Letters Degree from Oxford Graduate School in 2009. His masters’ thesis, “A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE REFORM IN THE UNITED STATES: TWENTY-FIVE KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES,” expounded that successful health care redesign requires integrating a broad array of considerations — clearly, one size does not fit all.  Self-employed since 1974, Dave believes that delivery of health care services in a free market will produce the best quality of care at the best price to recipients and payors. Dave is a writer, researcher, publisher, speaker, and expert on health care insurance. He focuses on themes of freedom, liberty, free enterprise, and the Founding Fathers’ views of the United States Constitution. Dave has written 48 books; 18 on health care reform. He speaks on health care and insurance reform to audiences of doctors,  insurance agents, employers, and private citizens. Dave is the founding President of the Declaration Foundation, past President of the Constitution Educational Foundation, and a health care policy advisor to the Heartland Institute.

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.

Neil Shah, MD

Neil is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder and medical director of Clarus Dermatology, PA and Premier SkinMD, PA. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, in 2007. Dr. Shah completed his residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. with an internship in internal medicine.
Prior to creating Clarus Dermatology, Dr. Shah started the dermatology department for HealthEast Clinics.
He graduated magna cum laude from Ursinus College with departmental honors in Biology. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society and the Sigma Xi research honor society.
Dr. Shah is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the American Medical Association, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, a Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery and a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. He is a former director of the Twin Cities Medical Society and prior member of the Policy Council for the Minnesota Medical Association. Currently he is the President of the Minnesota Dermatological Society as well as President of Doctors for the Practice of Safe and Ethical Aesthetic Medicine.
Dr. Shah’s clinical practice interests include skin cancer and reconstructive surgery, medical and cosmetic dermatology. He actively teaches family medicine residents from the North Memorial Hospital. In addition he remains involved with education of his peers in practice management and cutaneous surgery.
Outside of clinical practice, Dr. Shah enjoys travel, reading, shooting and track days. Dr. Shah is an avid Twins fan, Timberwolves fan and, yes, Chicago Bears fan. On the weekends you’ll find him riding around on his tractor with his three little children.

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 http://www.metrodoctors.com/dev/index.php/about-tcms/organization/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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_host_liability, 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.


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