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Daniel K. Zismer, Ph. D.

Daniel K. Zismer, Ph. D.

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Chair
Board of Directors & Management Team

Dr. Zismer’s areas of interest are the design, strategy, operations and financial performance of integrated health systems.

Prior to co-founding Castling Partners, Dr. Zismer served as the Wegmiller Professor and Chair for the Masters in Healthcare Administration and Executive Studies Programs, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.  Upon retiring from service to the School of Public Health, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status.  He also holds an adjunct faculty position with the School of Medicine, University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Zismer focused a 20 year career in health care on provider-side mergers, acquisitions and related integrated strategies. He served as the head of two national healthcare consulting firms (one he co-founded and sold) and headed operations of a large, multi-state, integrated health system.

Dr. Zismer serves as a frequent lecturer to the American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Physician Executives, and is a board member and advisor to a private, healthcare real estate development company. He has authored and co-authored in excess of 100 professional publications and was named by Minnesota Physician as one of the most influential healthcare leaders in Minnesota.

  • PhD (1982) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Campus Major: Health Psychology (Concentration in Cardiovascular Health Behavior) Pre-doctoral Kellogg Fellow Minor: Health Services Management
  • BA (1975) Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota Majors: Psychology and Criminal Justice; Cum Laude


  • Wegmiller Professor and Director, MHA and Executive Studies Programs 2013-2016.
  • Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Master in Healthcare Administration Program, University of Minnesota 2006 to 2012
  • Executive Vice President Essentia Health and President, Essentia Health Services 2004-2006
  • Executive Vice President Essentia Health and Chief Administrative Officer, SMDC 2001-2004
  • Managing Director, Dorsey Health Strategies, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1999-2001
  • Senior Executive, Allina Cardiovascular Services 1997-1999
  • Principal and National Practice Leader for health systems consulting, Towers Perrin, Minneapolis, Minnesota (acquired Partners Consulting Group) 1986-1997
  • Co-founder, Director and CEO of Partners Consulting Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1982-1985
  • Assistant Executive Director, Health Services Research Center, Park Nicollet Medical Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota


  • Rho Chi National Honor Society Identified by Minnesota Physician as one of Minnesota’s 100 “Most Influential Health Care Leaders”; August 1993, 1982-1989

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