Chair of the Steering Committee.
Ken Bence, M.H.A., M.B.A. is Director of Public Health for the State Public Programs division of Medica Health Plans, based in Minnetonka. He is responsible for enhancing Medica’s visibility and key relationships in the public health sphere at the state, county, and local levels, as well as providing an interface with health systems, social service agencies, and other community-based organizations. He oversees initiatives to improve access and health status for Medica’s Medicaid recipients, and is involved with several collaborative programs with other managed care organizations and state agencies. He shares responsibility for Medica’s compliance with federal, state, and industry regulatory requirements, and he sits on the Grant Performance Committee for the Medica Foundation.
Bence currently holds appointed positions on the Minnesota Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Steering Committee and Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force (Chair 2014-17), as well as the State’s Dental Services Advisory Committee and the Minnesota Cancer Alliance Steering Committee (Chair 2016-17), the MNsure Health Industry Advisory Committee and the Multi-payer Alignment and Community Advisory Committees for the State Innovation Model (SIM) project. He is a member of the Healthy MN 2020 Partnership and Hennepin County’s Community Health Improvement Partnership, and serves on United Behavioral Health’s Community Advisory Network, Minneapolis Healthy Start’s Executive Committee, and the American Lung Association in Minnesota’s Leadership Board. He previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Center for Cross-Cultural Health, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s Advancement Committee, and served as president (2010-11) of the Minnesota Public Health Association. He is a sought-after public speaker and moderator, and has given presentations and has been on panels for the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minnesota Public Health Association, Many Faces of Community Health Conference, the National Chlamydia Coalition Annual Meeting, and the President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.
Bence earned his Masters in Healthcare Administration from the School of Public Health and his Masters in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management, both at the University of Minnesota. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He is involved in many church and community activities, including serving as Battalion Chief for the Golden Valley Fire Department. He was the top firefighter fundraiser for the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air stair climb events from 2009-201
5, and was named honorary chairman of their 2010 Christmas Seals campaign in Minnesota. He also serves as a peer counselor with the Metro Critical Incident Stress Management Team.