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Photography by Spacecrafting

Marc Gorelick, MD

Children’s Minnesota

Marc Gorelick, MD, is president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota, one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems across the country. He also plays the tuba. The two are more intricately intertwined than one might think at first glance. 

“In a brass quintet, there’s no conductor and the other players have the melody,” he explains. “But the tuba provides the tuning note and sets the tempo. My role as a leader is to read from the same sheet of music and let people do what they do best. I set the tone and tempo to make sure the fountains of talented people here with expertise are moving toward the same goal — and then I get out of the way.” 

Those experts provide more than just traditional healthcare. Services like art and music therapies, interpreter services, bereavement services, and more support healing and lead to better outcomes.

“These services are absolutely critical to a child getting better, and we believe we need to provide them,” notes Gorelick. “We have a longstanding commitment to serving all families, regardless of who they are, what language they speak, what they look like, or how or whether they can pay for their care.” That means Children’s Minnesota provides nearly $92 million of care and services that is not reimbursed by insurance.

As a nonprofit health system, Children’s Minnesota greatly depends on community support to bridge that financial gap. Philanthropy is a fundamental part of the organization’s success as it lobbies for better care for children as well as closing the social, racial and environmental gaps children face. This includes advocating for children and giving them a voice in government proceedings and lawmaking.

It’s a lot to take on to be sure, but Gorelick says he’s up for the challenges of the current landscape. “It’s really hard not to be motivated and lifted up by kids,” he concludes. “I spent my entire career in pediatric healthcare, and although I’m not providing direct healthcare anymore, I still spend a lot of time out and about seeing kids. Kids are amazing, and they never fail to make me smile.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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