Leah Hebert Welles

Leah Hebert Welles

Open Arms Minnesota

Leah Hebert Welles, BA, is executive director of Open Arms of Minnesota, a volunteer-driven non-profit that grows, prepares and delivers over 600,000 nutritious meals every year to individuals living with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. She took over at Open Arms in 2013, after leadership positions at myHealth for Teens and Young Adults (formerly the West Suburban Teen Clinic), Midwest Health Center for Women, Pro-Choice Resources, Patrick’s Cabaret and the Sojourner Project Inc. (for battered women). Welles’ work attests to her deep commitment to education and access to health care for under-served and vulnerable populations. During her 4-years as director of myHealth for Teens and Young Adults, she supervised two health care clinics that provided services on a sliding scale as well as free mental, physical and mental health care to young people who could not afford to pay. She also supervised the clinics’ conversion to electronic health records and the building of a new clinic from the ground up. “I’m familiar with health care disparities,” she wrote in her application, “as my work has primarily been with those who have the least access to care: racial and sexual minorities, low-income individuals and families, women, and adolescents.” Welles also serves on the steering committee of the Minnesota Hunger Initiative.