Partner Profile: MCW Chair David Orbuch


A Minnesota native and a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, David B. Orbuch began his legal career as a health care fraud prosecutor for the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  He returned home to Minnesota in the early 1990s at the invitation of Skip Humphrey, who tapped him to work on health care cases for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.  Orbuch subsequently joined Allina Health System as its Corporate Compliance Officer.  His responsibilities expanded to include organizational ethics, communications and public policy work, as well as the development of a community benefit program.  Two years ago, he became the President of Phillips Eye Institute, which is part of Allina Health System and is the Midwest’s only specialty eye hospital.  He is also president of the Phillips

Eye Institute Foundation.

David Orbuch stepped into the role of Chair of the Midtown Community Works Partnership in January 2008.  In addition to his service on the MCW Partnership, Orbuch serves as a leader and/or board member and is involved in a host of community and charitable organizations, including Project for Pride in Living, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Adath Jeshurun Congregation.

 “My overall value that guides me is community, and I’ve always tried, with whatever work I’ve been doing, to be an active member and volunteer in the community I live in.  For me, being involved with the Partnership on behalf of the Phillips Eye Institute is simply an extension of the work I’ve been doing all of my adult life to help improve the health of the community.

“I first became involved in the Partnership when I was responsible for Allina’s community benefit program.  From the beginning, I found that the Partnership’s work was a great way to enhance the community.  It was and is a great example of private and public participation in taking responsibility for the health of the community.  From Allina’s perspective, there are a number of reasons why we see value in being engaged and involved in the Partnership.  A key goal of the Partnership is to guide the redevelopment of the Midtown Greenway area.  Allina has a major corporate presence in the Phillips neighborhood, and many of our employees and patients live or work in neighborhoods along the Greenway.  Given that, it’s critical for the health of our business and the well-being of our employees and customers that people feel that this is a community where they can feel comfortable and safe.

“Personally, I bike the Greenway all the time, both with my family and by myself, and I think that we’re tremendously fortunate to have this kind of bike path through our community.  Not only can people enjoy the beauty that the Greenway has to offer, but it’s good for physical fitness and for the environment.  And getting out of our cars and our offices and either walking or biking and seeing people face to face is a wonderful way to build community.

“I believe that this Partnership works because all of the parties—from the public sector, to the business community, to the non-profit organizations—appreciate that we all bring different strengths to the table.  Ultimately, we recognize that the overall aim of everybody is the same, and that by working together we can achieve far more than we ever could working alone.  As the MCW chair, my goal is to continue to help build this unique partnership, which is such a great model of how public and private organizations can work together, so that we can further strengthen, beautify, and make safer this special area in our community.”