Julie Sonier, president, MN Community Measurement

 

Julie Sonier is leading MN Community Measurement through a changing policy environment as the new president of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit.

Sonier has 20 years of health policy experience, previously serving as director of Minnesota’s State Employee Group Insurance Program.

Sonier was on the board of MN Community Measurement (MNCM) for about 18 months before joining the organization. She succeeded Jim Chase, who had been president since the organization’s founding in 2003.

MNCM reports on health care quality, cost, health equity and health care disparities through its MNHealthScores.org website based on data from clinics, medical groups and hospitals.

“We lead the nation in terms of our capacity here and the value that we’re able to bring by publicly reporting this information,” Sonier said.

One priority, Sonier said, is aligning the way MCMN measures and reports on health care data with changes in Medicare’s payment policies for health care providers.

Sonier served as staff lead to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Health Care Transformation Task Force, deputy director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota and as state health economist and health economics program director for the Minnesota Department of Health.

Sonier has a master in public affairs degree in economics and public policy from Princeton University and an economics degree from Amherst College.

Q: What’s made Minnesota a national leader in health measurement and reporting?

A: The key … is the collaboration that we’ve had since the beginning. MN Community Measurement is dependent on collaboration across the board from the nonprofit health plans in our community to the providers. We have employers. We have consumers. It’s the willingness to come together and work on things that are more powerful and more valuable to the community than any single one of those players could do on their own.

Q: To what would you attribute that degree of collaboration?

A: Minnesota has a long history of collaboration in health care improvement and a strong contributor to that has been the fact that the health plans in our community typically are headquartered here and they all have a history of being nonprofits.

Q: What’s driven your interest in health policy?

A: At heart I would say I’m really a data geek. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to bring data to issues that are policy relevant. And there’s no shortage of policy-relevant issues in health care.

 

Todd Nelson