With more than two decades of clinical expertise and system transformation experience, Linda Follenweider is an accomplished consultant and practitioner.
An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and board-certified family nurse practitioner, Linda has worked directly with patients and populations including in team-based and corrections settings. Her experience includes design and implementation work with health systems and health plans across the country particularly in the areas of innovative models of care and care delivery including Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), Health Homes, and specialty practices.
Linda has extensive experience in correctional healthcare delivery, from leadership to boots-on-the-ground delivery of care. Most recently as chief operating officer (COO) of Correctional Health and as a direct result of systems established under her leadership, Cook County Jail was able to contain and mitigate spread of COVID-19 in a complicated congregate setting while providing access to care. This included creating new efficiencies and processes as well as expanding telehealth services for patients.
Linda utilizes a data-driven approach and quality science to measure and move systems and groups to improve patient outcomes and create efficiencies in processes. She has been recognized for her work using robust data gathering and quality improvement science to elevate care for detainees, engage and elevate staff, and sustain these changes.
Linda has led and expanded care for patients with opioid use disorder which included a fully licensed medication-assisted treatment program for detainees as well as a naloxone on release education and provision program. She has assisted in diversion and intercept modeling for communities seeking solutions for complex issues surrounding the justice involved population.
In community and ambulatory settings, she has created and operationalized curriculum and training, including nurse competencies, for all members of practice staff to increase confident functioning at their highest level of licensure and skill set as part of a larger team. She also created and implemented a train-the-trainer protocol for nurse care managers for multiple large health systems including LA County, San Francisco, and Cook County with a special focus on chronic disease, multimorbidity, and behavior change.
As interim clinic director for a large mental health service provider in Detroit, she opened its physical health clinic to provide clinical services for patients with serious and persistent mental illness, and/or substance abuse that included linkages with recently released detainees. Linda has also done extensive work in the area of workforce development and training, including curriculum and competency development to support right staffing and system redesign as models of care and expectations for staff change.
Linda re-joined HMA in 2020 after serving as COO for Correctional Health at Cook County Health (CCH), which provided healthcare services to patients at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and the Cook County Jail. As COO she led the creation of a national model for correctional health that has resulted in better outcomes for patients and the dissolution of 10 years of U.S. Department of Justice oversight at the jail. In addition, under her leadership, the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center was recertified by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and she created robust reporting for data-driven care using electronic health records and jail management systems. Her system contributions in leadership also led to her recognition with the Pinnacle Nurse Leader at Cook County Health awarded by UIC Power of Nursing Leadership, having been nominated by CCH leadership.
She has served on the Board of Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN) as the founding member and three-term regional chair and the co-chair of the Reimbursement Committee. In these roles she served as an advisor to employers, practices, and APNs in Illinois around practice and licensure as well as the practice act, rules and regulations that guide APN and physician assistant practice in Illinois. She is an expert in billing and practice for Advanced Practice Providers.
Linda was named the Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year in 2009 by the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing and has served as graduate school adjunct faculty for Loyola University, University of Illinois-Chicago, Rush University and the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Linda earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and Master of Science degree at St. Xavier University.