Minnesota Department of Health
Contact the Family Home Visiting Team
Sylvia Cook, MPH, RN, PHN
MCH / Home Visiting Consultant - Metro, Northwest and Healthy Families America (HFA)
Phone: (651) 201-3748
Sylvia Cook is one of the Maternal Child Health/ Home Visiting Consultants for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Sylvia is a Registered Nurse and has been certified Public Health Nurse. She has over 20 years prior experience working in home visiting with a maternal-child health population including 7 years supervisory and management level experience. Since 2009 she has been certified as an NCAST Instructor through NCAST Programs at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Sylvia has also been certified as a Technical Assistance/Quality Assurance Specialist through Great Kids Inc. She has a Master's in Public Health degree specializing in Maternal Child Health. Sylvia is a trainer with Great Kids Inc. for the Integrated Strategies for Home Visiting Seminar. In her current position as MCH/HV consultant for MDH Sylvia provides support around home visiting to local public health departments in the Metro and North West regions of Minnesota and for HFA programs in the state.
Karla Decker, RN, PHN
Tribal Nurse Consultant
Phone: (218) 308-2100
Karla Decker, RN, PHN, is a Family Home Visiting Nurse Consultant in the Family Home Visiting Unit serving tribal communities throughout the state and other American Indian groups. She has 30 years of experience in public health home visiting, including working with pregnant and parenting teens in the Nurse-Family Partnership program. She provides leadership, vision and planning in the development, implementation and evaluation of culturally competent FHV components and programs.
Maureen Fuchs, RN, PHN
MCH / Home Visiting Consultant - West Central, Southwest and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
Phone: (651) 201-3741
Maureen Fuchs is a Registered Nurse and certified Public Health Nurse. She is a Maternal Child Health/Home Visiting Consultant for the Minnesota Department of Health Family Home Visiting (FHV) Program and Minnesota's State Nurse Consultant for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) model for home visiting. Maureen has over 30 years prior experience working in clinical and local public health settings providing health promotion and prevention services to pregnant and parenting families. Since 2007 she has been certified as NCAST instructor through NCAST Programs at the University of Washington, Seattle School of Nursing. As MCH consultant Maureen provides leadership and vision to the planning, implementation and evaluation of FHV Programs and as NFP State Nurse Consultant she mentors NFP nurse supervisors in their administrative and clinical supervision role. Maureen participates in the ongoing development of a Community of Practice among NFP nurses in Minnesota to assure excellence in nursing practice and quality implementation of the NFP model.
Maren Harris, MA, LMFT, IMH-E® (IV)
Reflective Practice Consultant
Phone: (651) 201-3534
Maren Harris, MA, LMFT is a Reflective Practice Consultant with the Minnesota Department of Health, mentoring Local Public Health supervisors and home visitors by providing reflective practice groups and infant mental health case consultation. She practiced as a family therapist for 11 years, working primarily with families impacted by attachment disorders. Maren then worked for 6 years with Dakota Healthy Families as a home visitor and supervisor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Psychology, Maternal and Child Health, and Family Relationships from the University of Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas.
Jill Hennes, MSW, LICSW, IMH-E® (IV)
Reflective Practice Consultant
Phone: (651) 201-3739
Jill Hennes has worked in home visiting and infant mental health for over twenty years, as a home visitor, supervisor, consultant, and therapist. Jill has a master's in social work, is a licensed clinical social worker, is endorsed in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, and holds a certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies. In her current position as Reflective Practice Consultant with the Minnesota Department of Health, Jill mentors Local Public Health supervisors and home visitors by providing reflective practice groups and infant mental health case consultation.
Sharon Hesseltine, BSW
Child Development / Infant Mental Health Specialist
Phone: (651) 201-3768
Sharon Hesseltine is the Child Development/Infant Mental Health Consultant for the Minnesota Department of Health Family Home Visiting Program. Sharon has been with MDH since June 2007 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Southern Illinois University and a Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to Minnesota, Sharon worked for 19 years at a local public health department in rural southernmost Illinois. She began her career providing home visits for pregnant and parenting adolescents followed by 17 years directing home visiting programs for families with children ages birth - 5. Sharon has worked in a variety of early childhood programs including Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Intervention (Part C).
Jean Larson, MS, PHN
MCH / Home Visiting Consultant - Northeast
Phone: (218) 302-6177
Jean Larson, MS, PHN, recently joined the Family Home Visiting Unit as a Family Home Visiting Nurse Consultant. She brings over 25 years working as a public health nurse at both the local and state level. Her main focus has been on creating and evaluating high quality, accessible programs and services aimed at improving maternal, child and adolescent health. For the past 7 years, Jean has provided specialized public health nursing consultation to families, primary care providers, clinic staff and community stakeholders located in Northeastern Minnesota. This work focused on improving both access to and quality of care for children and youth with special health care needs and assisting clinics/clinic systems in transforming primary care delivery. Jean received a Master of Science degree in Public Health Nursing from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Terri McNeil, M.Ed
Phone: (651) 201-3765
Terri McNeil is the Training Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Family Home Visiting Program. Her Masters is in Adult and Family Education with her undergraduate in Child Psychology and Sociology from the University of Minnesota. Prior experience includes home visiting in the Cedar Riverside and Frog town areas of the twin cities as a licensed ECFE/Parent Educator and Head Start Co-location Director. Before starting at MDH, Terri directed a program for student parents in a center that served children with special needs in an inclusion setting. Terri is a master level trainer through Minnesota Council on Professional Development and formerly certified in CLASS, a tool that asses teachers skills with building relationships with preschoolers. She has been coaching and training early childhood teachers for 16 years and developing curriculum for young children and parents since 1985.
Mary Orban, PHN, MA
MCH / Home Visiting Consultant - South Central and Southeast
Phone: (507) 206-2733
Mary Orban, PHN, MA is a Family Home Visiting Nurse Consultant in the Family Home Visiting Unit providing consultative services to local public health departments in the southern part of the state. Mary has over 28 years working in public health at the local and state levels. Mary has worked for local public health departments in Rice County and Mower County and Michigan in a variety of program areas including providing home visiting services to families. She was the coordinator for MCH programs in a district health department in Michigan. Mary has also served as the Freeborn County Public Health Director/CHS Administrator. During the past 11 years Mary has worked for MDH as the Public Health Nurse Consultant for the Southeast and part of South Central regions.
Phone: (651) 201-5025
Genie Potosky is the Family Home Visiting Program Grant Coordinator. She has 20+ year's experience in health care policy, program management, contract management, provider training and program evaluation. While at the MN Department of Human Services, she was the Child & Teen Checkups Coordinator and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Coordinator and was a Part H (now Part C) planner at the New Mexico Department of Health. She has also been a member of the MN Interagency Coordinating Council for Part C and MN Department of Human Services Brain Injury Advisory Committee.
Frederick A. Radmer, Jr, MPH
Phone: (651) 201-3802
Frederick Radmer is an Epidemiologist for the Family Home Visiting (FHV) unit. He provides epidemiologic expertise and capacity to assist the FHV unit with analyzing data and evaluation activities. Originally from West Allis, WI, Fred has previously worked as an immunization project coordinator and public health surveillance analyst for the Milwaukee Health Department. He has a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Mary Kay Stevens, RN, PHN
MCH / Home Visiting Consultant - Central, West Central, East Central and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
Phone: (651) 201-3740
Mary Kay's Biography
Mary Kay Stevens is a Registered Nurse and certified Public Health Nurse. She is a Maternal & Child Health/Family Home Visiting Consultant for the MDH FHV Program. She also serves as an MDH State Nurse Consultant for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) home visiting model. Mary Kay has 12+ years prior experience in local public health in the areas of family health and maternal and child health. She is a certified NCAST instructor through NCAST Programs, University of Washington, Seattle School of Nursing. Mary Kay also provides leadership and vision to the planning, implementation and evaluation of FHV programs. As NFP State Consultant, she mentors NFP nurse supervisors in their administrative and clinical supervision roles. She also participates in the development of a Community of Practice among NFP nurses in MN to assure fidelity to the implementation of the NFP model.
Junie Svenson, MPH
MCH / Home Visiting Planner
Phone: (651) 201-3759
Junie Svenson, BA (Anthropology), MPH (Health Education), is a Maternal Child Health/Home Visiting Planner with the Minnesota Department of Health. Between 1998 and 2003, she co-administered the Minnesota Healthy Beginnings Program, a universally offered home visiting program, and since then has provided MCH and home visiting support and technical assistance to local public health departments and tribal governments for the Family Home Visiting program which is a home visiting program targeted to low income, high risk pregnant and parenting families. In recent years, she has also provided TA and support to LPH departments and tribal governments around evidence-based home visiting models and practices as well as grants management for the Minnesota Maternal, Infant and early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Junie participated in the initial development of Minnesota's Community Health Worker training curriculum and the promotion of CHWs as an established, reimbursable health profession in Minnesota. She also participated in the planning and implementation of Minnesota American Indian Infant Mortality Review Project, its case review team, and a number of its community action teams. Between 1989 and 1998, she was the MDH Infant Mortality Consultant. As such, she identified and coordinated the development of Minnesota's Sudden Infant Death Investigation Guidelines, was the grant manager for a number of fetal-infant mortality review projects and monitored fetal, infant, and maternal mortality data for trends and disparities. Prior to joining MDH, Junie spent one year as the Projects Director for the Minnesota International Health Volunteers (now WellShare International) and eleven years as a Research Fellow in Nigeria with the Institute of Child Health and Primary Care and the National Institute for Medical Research, where she oversaw the development of a new cadre of paraprofessional home visiting staff (Community Health Aides) carrying out family outreach and health education for a demonstration clinic in a low income, urban community and conducted research related to parental perceptions of the nutritional status of their children in Lagos.
Mary Jo Chippendale, MS, PHN
Phone: (651) 201-3773
Mary Jo's Biography
Mary Jo Chippendale, MS, PHN, Family Home Visiting Supervisor, has worked at the Minnesota Department of Health for ten years where she supervises the Family Home Visiting Unit. She has previously supervised the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) program as well as infant mortality reduction, Positive Alternatives, family planning special projects and adolescent health programs. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in nursing from the University of Minnesota. She has over 20 years' experience as a public health nurse in the area of maternal and child health nursing.
Candace Kragthorpe, MSW, IMH-E® (IV)
Phone: (651) 201-4841
Candy Kragthorpe, MSW, IMH-E® (IV), Family Home Visiting Team Lead and Unit Supervisor, provides staff supervision, program management and policy planning. She has 25+ years of experience in health and human services in the areas of mental health, violence prevention and developmental disabilities. She is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Mentor in Policy and holds a Certificate in Child Abuse Prevention Studies.
Sherry Otto, AA, BS
Office and Administrative Specialist, Sr.
Phone: (651) 201-3736
Sherry Otto, Office and Administrative Specialist Senior, is the newest member of the Family Home Visiting Unit. She recently transferred from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as an Administrative Office Specialist Intermediate in the Crimes Against a Person(s) unit where she worked for 6.5 years. She has an Administrative Assistant Associate's and Office Assistant degrees from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond, Wisconsin (WITC), and a Bachelors of Science degree in Management and Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Menomonie (UW-Stout). Sherry is also employed at Lakeview Health as a Communications Coordinator in Stillwater, MN where she has worked part-time for the past 10 years.
Minnesota Department of Health
Community & Family Health Division
85 East Seventh Place
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
Phone: (651) 201-3760
Fax: (651) 201-3590
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