Log in

Minnesota Public Health Association

Since 1907, MPHA has been dedicated to creating a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. 

2023 to 2024 Policy Forum Series:

Mythbusters: What’s tried and true; what’s new?

The theme for this year’s breakfast forum series is all about changing views in public health and health care. There are tried and true recommendations that have stood the test of time. There are also recommendations that are no longer considered the best thing to do. Our four forums will bring together thought-leaders and public health advocates working to address what has withstood the test of time and what has changed.

The forums will be in-person at New Brighton Community Center. Check-in and a light breakfast begin at 7:30am. Forums begin promptly at 8:00 am and conclude at 9:30am.

View the 2023-2024 series flyer!

Sponsorship Opportunities!

May 17 Agenda

Watch Recording

May 17th 2024older generations

New challenges to living through a healthy old age are emerging constantly—what does it take? What age is even considered old? Is public health meeting the challenges of aging? What has worked, what hasn’t, and where do we go from here?

Moderator: Kenneth Bence, MHA, MBA, Past MPHA President

Panelists: Adam Suomala, Cathy McLeer, and Joe Gaugler, Ph.D.

Moderator Bio -

Kenneth Bence is the Director of Research, Analysis and Policy for the Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota (ARRM), a non-profit association of nearly 200 providers, businesses and advocates dedicated to leading the advancement of home and community-based services supporting people living with disabilities. In this role, he is responsible for creating and maintaining data systems that support ARRM’s legislative agenda and advocacy efforts on behalf of its members. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare and related sectors, he has worked with managed care organizations, state and local public health departments, coalitions, community health improvement partnerships, and non-profit foundations. He has served on several Boards of Directors for non-profit organizations, and is a past president of the Minnesota Public Health Association. Finally, with over 20 years as a paid-on-call firefighter and current Battalion Chief with the Golden Valley Fire Department, he brings a unique public safety perspective to his work.

Panelists Bio -

Joe Gaugler, PhD is the Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care & Aging in the School of Public Health and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is the Director of the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation, Director of the national BOLD Public Health Center of Excellence on Dementia Caregiving, and Editor-in-Chief of The Gerontologist. His research focuses on dementia care innovation.

Cathy McLeer is the State Director for AARP Minnesota. With 620,000 members in Minnesota, AARP empowers individuals to choose how they live as they age, advocates for health and financial security, and works to builds stronger, more livable communities for all ages. Cathy’s early career includes more than a decade in Broadcast News and she holds a Journalism degree from the University of Minnesota.

Adam Suomala serves as the President and Executive Director of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging - a statewide consortium of 32 non-profit organizations working to create communities and systems that support aging with dignity and a spirit of well-being in Minnesota. Having dedicated his career to the field of aging, his work since 2000 has spanned the topics of policy and advocacy, grassroots organizing, workforce development, education and training, strategic communications, facilitation and planning, as well as efforts to advance person-directed aging services. He also serves as a Strategy Consultant at the Minneapolis-based Collective Action Lab and as Facilitator of the Minnesota Geriatrics ECHO for the University of Minnesota and Hennepin Healthcare. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and a Masters of Public Affairs from their Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

March 22 Agenda

Watch Recording

March 22nd 2024mid-years

With new recommendations about preventive care services—e.g., mammograms, prostate exams, colon cancer screening—what’s a middle-aged adult supposed to do? Even recommendations about how much water to drink and how much exercising is enough are always changing. What’s new, what’s being reinterpreted and what is staying the same will be discussed at this forum.

Moderator: Paul Terry

Panelists: Dr. Caleb Schultz, Kris Haugen, Mandy Wannarka

Moderator Bio -

Paul Terry is a Senior Fellow at HERO (Health Enhancement Research Organization) where he collaborates with HERO members and national experts in planning learning events and supports the HERO team in organizing the annual forum, think tanks and webinars.

Before HERO, Terry was president and CEO at StayWell Health Management and before StayWell, Paul served as president and CEO at The Park Nicollet Institute. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and his Masters from Minnesota State University at Mankato where he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award.

Terry is a Past President of the Minnesota Public Health Association. He serves on advisory councils for The National Academy of Sciences, the American Heart Association, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Prevention programs that Terry developed won the C. Everett Koop National Health Award. Alongside his wife Gail and his children Anna and Will, Paul loves rowing, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, camping, hiking, biking and x-country skiing.

Panelists Bio -

Kris Haugen, Workplace and Well-being Specialist | Office of Statewide Health Improvement, Minnesota Department of Health

Kris Haugen has a passion for workplace wellness, and has worked in a variety of settings as a program manager of large multi-site organizations, within a hospital system, manufacturing environments, and currently in supporting local public health in advising small to medium employers at the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). She has helped start the community well-being strategy within SHIP to assist communities in becoming more resilient. She has worked in both the public and private sector, served as a health coach, and has also worked on the vendor side of the industry. For her own self care, Kris loves to be outdoors as much as possible by biking, gardening, and kayaking. She is also a potter and glass fuser, and deeply enjoys indulging in creative energy in her spare time.

Caleb Schultz, M.D., M.P.H. received his Bachelor of Science from Duke University, M.D. and M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota, and completed residency in Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He serves on the

MPHA Governing Council and Policy and Advocacy Committee and Minnesota Medical Association Board of Directors. Dr. Schultz is the MPHA Liaison to the Minnesotans for a SmokeFree Generation Coalition.

He recently completed service on the Protect Minnesota Board of Directors which sprang from his desire to engage in upstream policy efforts to curb gun violence after his all too frequent clinical experience of trying to save the lives of gunshot victims when practicing at HCMC. Dr. Schultz lives in Minnetonka with his pediatrician wife and three elementary age children who are enrolled in the public school Chinese immersion program. Dr. Schultz enjoys Sci-Fi, especially Star Wars and has presented at regional Sci-Fi Conventions on “Medicine and Public Health in Star Wars” to the delight of many fellow nerds.

Mandy Wannarka is a licensed independent clinical social worker and Certified Perinatal Mental Health specialist (PMH-C) practicing as a psychotherapist in Coon Rapids, MN. She is an Approved Consultant for the international organization for EMDR and certified in EMDR (a trauma informed treatment modality that leverages the brain’s inherent capacity for healing with empirically validated studies to resolve trauma). She specializes in life transitions of all kinds, but in particular the area of perinatal mental health with a focus on reproductive health traumas including birth trauma, complex health conditions, NICU stays and perinatal loss.

She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and her Masters in Social Work from the University of St Thomas/St Catherine University. She volunteered with the nonprofit Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota (PPSM) from 2018 through 2023, working to ensure the emotional wellbeing of families during the perinatal period. Prior to private practice she spent five years practicing hospital social work with an emphasis on supporting families experiencing expected and unexpected hospitalizations. Her group practice, Mindful Wellbeing, focuses on providing individual and family outpatient mental health therapy and is continuing to expand into the holistic health and wellness arena by partnering with holistic health professionals to offer a multitude of services directly from their clinic.

January 19th Agenda

Watch Recording

January 19, 2024Children and Adolescents

Changing views about immunizations?...about early socialization and development?...about the impact of video gaming and social media on the development of sound mental health? These questions and more will be explored in this forum.

Moderator: Dave Golden, MPHA Past President

Panelists: Sue Abderholden, Maree Hampton, Denise Herrmann

Moderator Bio -

Dave Golden started working for the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology in 1984 where he also discovered a love of Public Health. He was part of the Minnesota Health Health Project from 1984-1989 developing and implementing strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease in one of three cities selected as intervention sites. As the Heart Health Project intervention period ended, he moved to Boynton Health on the University of Minnesota campus and worked as a health educator. In 1998, Dave became Director of Public Health and Communications. He was an active member of APHA, MPHA (Past President), American College Health Association and North American College Health Association. He retired from the University of Minnesota after 38 action packed, fun filled years of working with some of the most wonderful people one could ever hope to have as colleagues and friends. If it's not fun, it's not Public Health!

But there's more. Dave is the owner of a small business called Wilderness Water Safety, a specialized lifeguard training for wilderness trip leaders. Since the age of 14, he has been involved in helping people be safer around the water. It started with teaching swimming at the neighborhood pool, becoming a lifeguard, lifeguard instructor, a first aid and CPR instructor, and 8 consecutive years as a summer camp waterfront director at a few different locations in MN and WI. He also developed a love of spending time in the wilderness. In 1982, Dave went canoeing for 6 months with his brother Jim on a trip that started on the Minnesota River in Bloomington, Minnesota to the Mississippi and down to New Orleans. Dave then started traveling, as often as he could, with offspring and friends into wilderness areas including the BWCA, Quetico, Woodland Caribou, other parts of Ontario, Algonquin and opportunities here and there that seem to pop up. Wilderness Water Safety provides me with a nice combination of lifeguarding, wilderness and public health while traveling to different organizations around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Manitoba. Dave shares he can't wait to get the grandkids out there.

Panelists Bio -

Sue Abderholden has been the Executive Director of NAMI Minnesota since October 2001. She has held leadership positions with Arc of Minnesota, U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone and PACER Center. Sue has a B.A. in political science from Macalester College and a master’s degree in public health administration from the University of Minnesota. She and her family had a foster care license for many years providing respite care for families of children with disabilities and youth aging out of foster care. She is a community faculty member at the U of MN School of Social Work teaching health and mental health policy.

Maree Hampton is the Co-founder and former Co-Executive Director of LiveMore ScreenLess, and currently consults in the public health and mental health sectors to provide digital wellbeing expertise and guidance. Maree has extensive experience in planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of health promotion programs. Maree has an established leadership record in various institutions including nonprofits, a major public university, a Native American tribal college, and community-based health organizations. Maree is passionate about promoting the digital wellbeing of children and young people.

Denise Herrmann has her Doctorate in Nursing Practice and is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in children with special health needs. Her career spans over 40 years with 23 years as school nurse and pediatric nurse practitioner, where she provided care to students of all ages and abilities.

She has been with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) since June 2019 and in the role of State School Health Consultant since April 2020. In this role she provides technical assistance, consultation to school nurses and leaders, education and training on various school health and school nursing topics.

She is responsible for monitoring, interpreting, synthesizing, and disseminating relevant information associated with changes in health and medical care, school nursing practice, legislation, and legal issues. She facilitates the development of policies, standards, and/or guidelines for MN schools and school nursing. She provides leadership for the MDH School Health Services website with content writing and resource links.

Membership in these organizations helps to educate and inform her learning and expertise: School Nurse Organization of Minnesota, National Association of School Nurses, the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

October 27th Agenda

Watch Recording

October 27, 2023…Infants and Young Children

From crib safety, to nursing pillows, to early childhood development and beyond--views about keeping infants and young children safe are always changing. Our panelists and forum attendees will also explore on-going concerns about infant and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Moderator: Ellen Saliares, MPH, Immediate Past President

Panelists: Dr. Michelle Haggerty, Jennie Lippert, MHA, Linda H Dech, MPH, IBCLC

Moderator Bio -

Ellen Saliares, MPH (she/her/hers) is the Immediate Past President of the Minnesota Public Health Association. She works as the Sexual and Reproductive Health Services Grant Manager at the Minnesota Department of Health. Previously, she worked in the field of sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health as the Director of Maternal and Child Health at WellShare International and the Director of Sexuality Education at the Annex Teen Clinic.

Panelists Bio -

Linda Dech, MPH, IBCLC, is the Executive Director for the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and an accredited member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Prior to this position, Linda was the WIC Peer Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Minnesota Dept. of Health WIC Program. She has been involved with the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition since its inception advocating for helping our current and next generation to have the best start in life by making it easier to access the best nutrition available.

Dr. Michelle Haggerty is a physician and board certified in family medicine, integrative medicine and lactation. She is the founder and owner of Fourth Trimester Doc, a private practice that provides in-home care for mothers/birthing people and their newborns during the postpartum/4th trimester period. She also provides consultations for lactation complications and perinatal mental health concerns. She has extensive training in yoga, mind-body medicine, nutrition, Reiki, osteopathic manipulative therapy, and integrative perinatal psychiatric care. She also has an interest in public health and has a Masters in Public Health and Nutrition.

She is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director for the Center for 4th Trimester Care (C4TC), a national nonprofit whose mission is to revolutionize 4th trimester medical care. She is a founding board member for the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine and serves on the Medical and Health Sciences Advisory Committee for the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies. She has been recognized for the past three years as a Top Doctor by Msp/St. Paul Magazine and Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Jennie Lippert, MHA is passionate about leadership and continuing to find ways to incorporate and grow family home visiting to support and better the lives of children and families throughout Minnesota. Jennie lives in Willmar, MN, with her husband, Tom, and their two children, Lainie & Jack.

Jennie serves as the Family Home Visiting Section Manager with the Minnesota Department of Health. In this role, she oversees a team of staff who provide consultation for programming and support in best practices to local public health, tribal health, and non-profit home visiting programs throughout Minnesota. This work supports the integration of family home visiting into the state's comprehensive early childhood system. The MDH family home visiting team understands the importance of relationship building with a variety of partners to increase capacity for communities to promote the healthy development of children, secure attachments between caregivers and children, increase self-sufficiency and safety of families with infants and improved pregnancy outcomes.

Prior to joining the Minnesota Department of Health, Jennie was the Health and Human Services Director for Kandiyohi County. In this role, she directed the operations of 161 staff that make up the HHS Department, including the following County service delivery areas: Public Health, Income Maintenance, Administrative Support, Accounting, Child Support, Mental Health/Substance Use Disorders, Child Protection/Child Welfare, and Home and Community Based Services.

Jennie holds a Master’s degree in Health and Human Services Administration from Saint Mary’s University and a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management from North Dakota State University. Jennie is also a Licensed Nurse and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Search our website!

©️ 2024 Minnesota Public Health Association 

A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software