Gordon M. Sprenger Oral History Released - Long-time CEO at Allina Reflects on Leadership

CHICAGO (December 30, 2019) – The Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History announces a new publication in the Hospital Administration Oral History series:

Growing up in the rural community of Conger, Minnesota, with a population of fewer than 200 residents, Gordon Sprenger thought he might like to run a small business like his relatives did when he grew up.  After graduating from St. Olaf College, he broadened the scope of his thinking about his future business career by interviewing with large corporations.  However, advice from an insightful advisor caused him to consider hospital administration.  Mr. Sprenger applied to, and was accepted at, the graduate program in hospital administration at the University of Minnesota directed by the influential professor James A. Hamilton.

In this comprehensive oral history interview, Gordon Sprenger reminisces about his life and career beginning at USAF Hospital at Hamilton Air Force Base in California and at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee.  In the late ‘60s, he was hired at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and continued to lead this organization as it was transformed into Abbott-Northwestern Hospital then LifeSpan then HealthSpan then Allina Health System.  The creation of Allina resulted in an organization chart with a shared CEO – Mr. Sprenger and Dr. Jim Ehlen. 

One of the many volunteer positions that he has held over the years was as American Hospital Association board chairman in 1996.  Key issues at that time included the concept of community care organizations and patient safety.

The full text of this new oral history interview is available at no charge on the Center website at http://www.aha.org/chhah.  Other recent oral history interviews which can be found on the website include that of Donald Wegmiller, John G. King, Dr. Paul Batalden, Scott Parker, Sr. Mary Roch Rocklage, Dr. David Lawrence, Percy Allen and Larry L. Mathis.

The Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History was established by the American Hospital Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives and is coordinated by the AHA Resource Center in collaboration with the Health Research & Educational Trust.  For more information about the Center and its programs, visit the website or contact Brenda Stenger, director, at (312) 422-2017.


Contact:   Brenda Stenger, bstenger@aha.org, (312) 422-2017