Nneka O. Sederstrom named Chief Health Equity Officer

nneka-sederstrom-v3Nneka O. Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM has joined Hennepin Healthcare as its Chief Health Equity Officer. In this role, Dr. Sederstrom joins Hennepin Healthcare’s Executive Leadership Team to drive organizational work to assess, build, and execute strategies to cultivate a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion and transform how care is delivered. She is a recognized national speaker on many topics including racism, racial disparities, bias, crisis standards of care and treatment, end-of-life care and many aspects of diversity and ethics.

Working collaboratively with teams from across Hennepin Healthcare, Dr. Sederstrom will develop and implement sustainable practices that foster and affirm a patient care environment where disparities are eliminated and all patients can achieve optimal health outcomes. She will also foster community involvement through Hennepin Healthcare’s Community Advisory Board and build other alliances and partnerships to better align care and service models with the communities served by the healthcare system.

“Dr. Sederstrom brings a proven record as a change agent, the ability to bring diverse groups forward together realizing the importance of everyone’s role in optimal health and healing, and proven leadership transforming clinical practice to realized health outcomes,” said Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis.

This extensive leadership experience in program development, training, speaking and writing about racism, social justice, ethics, and their impact on the delivery of healthcare comes from many significant roles held by Dr. Sederstrom, including most recently her position as Director of Clinical Ethics Department at Children’s Minnesota. Prior to this she was the Director of the Center for Ethics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, where she also led the Spiritual Care Department and she was the creator and Executive Director of the Journal of Hospital Ethics.

On a local level, Dr. Sederstrom serves on the MN COVID Ethics Collaborative, Metro Compact Critical Care Core, Minnesota Medical Association Ethics and Legal Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Make-A-Wish Minnesota board of directors.

Dr. Sederstrom earned a BA in Philosophy from George Washington University, MA in Philosophy and PhD in Sociology from Howard University, and a MPH in Global Health Management from George Washington University. She is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Critical Care Medicine, and an affiliate faculty member of the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics.

“We feel strongly that to change the trajectory of our community, we need to change how healthcare is delivered from the ground up,” explains DeCubellis. “Dr. Sederstrom brings the vision, energy, and leadership to advance us on that journey. We are excited to welcome her and leverage the incredible talent across our organization in partnership with her to drive this work forward.”

Frostbite patients may benefit from innovative fluorescence imaging technology

Major advancement allows physicians to visualize blood flow with handheld device at bedside

Physicians at Hennepin Healthcare have a new tool to help make life and limb-saving decisions in patients being evaluated for frostbite injury and other tissue perfusion concerns. Stryker’s SPY-PHI is a hand-held device that was made to be used in a surgical setting to visualize the quality of blood flow in vessels and micro vessels that provide oxygen to organs. HCMC is the first hospital in the state to implement this advanced technology in an acute setting.

“We’ve already realized SPY’s benefits when evaluating exposure patients for frostbite injury,” explains HCMC emergency physician Dr. Thomas Masters. “It may help physicians determine when the use of clot-busting medications is indicated, as well as when it’s not.”

SPY-PHI uses a near-infrared low powered laser light source to stimulate a fluorescent imaging agent that has been injected into the blood stream. The fluorescent agent binds to the proteins in blood and circulates through the body. When stimulated by near infrared light, the protein-bound agent emits a fluorescence signal which enables visualization of blood flowing through vessels and into tissue. The fluorescence is captured by a special camera, is processed and is displayed on a video monitor for the physician to review. Since the agent is bound to blood, where blood goes, it goes. If there is no fluorescence, it can mean that there is compromised blood flow.

“We hope that eventually it may have applications for crush injuries, necrotizing fasciitis, and other types of wounds,” said Dr. Masters.

Unlike traditional bone scans, which can be time-consuming to perform in an emergent situation, SPY technology does not involve ionizing radiation and utilizes a fluorescence imaging agent with a short half-life thus allowing surgeons to repeat perfusion assessment as needed.  

HCMC is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. It is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital and clinic system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, primary care and specialty clinics located in Minneapolis and surrounding suburban communities, as well as home care and hospice services.