Susan L. Ahlquist

Headshot of Susan L. Ahlquist

Susan Ahlquist spent her career in health care at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. She graduated with BS and MS degrees in Nursing with an emphasis on public health and healthy aging. Her clinical nursing experience included helping start the first Medical Oncology unit at Mayo Clinic. She also served as Evening Supervisor for all medical units of an 800 bed Mayo hospital, held positions in Nursing Education. Moving into administration, she served as Director of Patient and Health Education and became a board member of the International Patient Education Council. One of her greatest career satisfactions was creating a coordinated, consolidated and centralized system for delivery of consistent high quality educational programs and materials for Mayo patients and health consumers.

After being elected to the Voting Staff, Susan served as the Designated Institutional Administrator (DIA) for the School of Graduate Medical Education (GME) which included over 225 physician residency and fellowship training programs and a budget of over 100 million dollars. In addition to GME, she had shared administrative responsibility for all Rochester-based Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Schools and education units, including the Medical School, Graduate School, School of Health Sciences and Continuing Medical Education. Susan chaired and supported multiple institutional committees and represented Mayo Clinic in external initiatives and partnerships.

Always engaged in the community, Susan became the Mayo Clinic Administrator for Community Relations, which allowed her to work closely with the non-profit, private and governmental resources in communities she serves. Responsible for Mayo’s presence, contributions and social responsibility, she helped develop and implement the initial Community Needs Health Assessment (CHNA) collaborative efforts.

Following her career, she remains engaged in the community, especially around issues of equity and inclusion. She has served and currently serves in leadership roles such as chairing the Board of Directors for the fourteen county Channel One Food Bank. She led strategic planning efforts that have broadened the mission to include food security for all and food as an essential element of health outcomes. She currently chairs the Olmsted County Human Services Advisory Board and supports multiple community-based organizations and initiatives. Beyond her formal volunteer work, Susan is currently engaged with her family in creating a foundation supporting innovation around health, social justice and care for the environment. Susan has three (now six) children, all working to make the world better, and seven grandchildren who give her hope every day.

Susan’s life has been integrally touched and impacted by the life work of her husband David Ahlquist, who spent his career as a physician scientist pursuing a vision of a multi-site single test for cancer early detection, The work and vision of the Prevent Cancer Foundation aligns with David’s vision and Susan’s passions and experience, and she is committed to contributing to its continuing success.