Hennepin Health's Abdirahman Abdi receives 40 Under 40 award

Abdirahman Abdi has seen firsthand the ravages of disease on the neediest of populations.
As a boy forced to leave his war-torn homeland in Somalia for a U.N.-sponsored refugee camp, Abdi volunteered at the camp’s health center, working side-by-side with people from Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontiéres. Today, he is chief financial officer at Hennepin Health, where he is dedicated to enhancing the health of all people, regardless of status.
Abdirahman Abdi of Hennepin Healthcare
His accomplishments include reworking the organization's financial model to reinvest in combating the causes of health disparities and restructuring provider contracts to improve quality and cost efficiencies. He has recruited new staff and developed existing personnel, led the creation of data-based reporting and budgeting tools, provided financial oversight of vendor contracts, and developed accurate financial forecasting.
“Abdi has proven himself to be a gifted, mission-driven, creative and transformative driver of organizational performance,” stated Hennepin
Health CEO Anne Kanyusik Yoakum, who nominated Abdi for the 40 Under 40 award.
The Hamline University graduate, who also holds a Master of Health Administration from the University of Minnesota, sits on the boards of Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council and Minnesota Computers for Schools.

More from Abdi …

What’s the most stressful or challenging part of your job? 
The most challenging part of my job is also the most rewarding: managing change. Health care is constantly changing, so the ability to use transformational thinking to develop innovative new systems and processes to meet these challenges and achieve results is ever more important for those in the health care field at all levels.

How do you cope with those demanding aspects of your career?
 I am very passionate about creating access to high quality, affordable health care for underserved populations and embrace the idea of throwing yourself into something big that you believe in, obsessively dedicating your life’s work and making sure it’s ambitious enough to stretch you. Also, I have learned from colleagues to take breaks, explore the purpose of my work and do some self-reflection. This has allowed me to bring new energy and vitality to my work life and gain a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper commitment to my work in health care.

What’s your No. 1 goal for 2020? 
Seek more collaboration and partnership with other leaders by providing industry standard expertise that results in sustainable financial performance necessary for Hennepin Health to provide high quality, cost efficient, innovative health care services to our members.

Where were you born and what path led you to the Twin Cities?
I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. After escaping Somalia's civil war and spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya, my family and I came to Minnesota and the Twin Cities in search of a better life. I consider myself very fortunate and deeply grateful for the opportunities my family and I have received to settle here and build a better future.
There are so many studies published about the habits and traits of different generations. 

What generation do you identify with and why? 
I identify myself as a millennial. I appreciate the diversity in this generation united by a belief in a world of collaboration and unrestricted by geographical borders.

Besides your home, where is your favorite place to go in the Twin Cities? 
My favorite place to go in the Twin Cities is Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. My family and I absolutely love this Minnesota treasure and it is a great way to get out of the house and do something as a family year-round.

Fast facts

Chief financial officer, Hennepin Health
Age: 39
Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, Hamline University; master’s degree, health care administration, University of Minnesota
Family: Wife and two children
Board memberships: Minnesota Computers for Schools; Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America

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