Kevin Kluesner Named Administrator of New Mental Health Emergency Center


Kevin Kluesner head shot


October 11, 2021

Kevin Kluesner Named Administrator of New Mental Health Emergency Center

Kluesner brings diverse experience and passion for serving Milwaukee’s vulnerable populations to new role

MILWAUKEEKevin Kluesner has been selected as the administrator of the new Mental Health Emergency Center,  effective Oct. 11, 2021. 

Kluesner’s extensive, diverse experience as a healthcare leader in the greater Milwaukee community has demonstrated his commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of Milwaukee’s underserved, vulnerable populations, along with his passion for improving health equity.

The Mental Health Emergency Center is a new facility, opening in 2022, that will serve children and adults experiencing a mental health crisis. It is a joint venture between Milwaukee County and the area’s four health systems: Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health. Advocate Aurora Health will serve as the operations manager for the emergency center and will employ the administrator, psychiatrists and other staff. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin to the Mental Health Emergency Center team,” said Pete Carlson, Advocate Aurora Health, Behavioral Health President. “He brings an outstanding mix of experience, passion and commitment to this community. His track record of healthcare service in Milwaukee is exceptional, and we’re confident that under his leadership, the Mental Health Emergency Center will soon become an integral part of the continuum of behavioral health care in Milwaukee County.” 

Prior to this new role, Kluesner served as Chief Administrative Officer at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital, a critical care hospital with advanced specialty care services. During his time there, he improved emergency department patient satisfaction scores and led efforts to create a more inclusive culture, decrease workplace violence, and address the social determinants of health in the Milwaukee community.

“Our community and our nation’s mental health services have long been underfunded and fragmented,” said Kluesner, Mental Health Emergency Center administrator. “This opportunity to help create an innovative mental health emergency center and quickly integrate it into Milwaukee’s mental health care continuum will be important and fulfilling work. I’m looking forward to establishing and maintaining strong relationships with the Mental Health Emergency Center’s stakeholders and the Milwaukee community.”

Kluesner has held additional leadership roles in operations, business development, planning and marketing, government relations, philanthropy, public relations and more. He’s been responsible for all performance aspects of two of Wisconsin and Milwaukee’s busiest emergency departments at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital and Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital and served for a year on the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s Leadership Council. 

He received both his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees from Marquette University. 

About the Mental Health Emergency Center

The new Mental Health Emergency Center is a joint venture between Milwaukee County and the area’s four health systems: Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert Health. Just one component in the broader array of mental health services in Milwaukee County, the emergency center will serve as a national model for emergency crisis care that is patient-centered, recovery-oriented, and culturally informed. Targeted to open in early 2022, the Mental Health Emergency Center will offer 24/7 crisis mental health assessment, stabilization, treatment, and transition care management for children, adolescents and adults. Learn more about the emergency center and careers at


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