About - Healthy Minnesota Partnership

About the Healthy Minnesota Partnership

Values and Principles


The charge of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership is to develop public health priorities, goals, objectives and strategies to improve the health of all Minnesotans and to ensure ownership of these in communities across the state of Minnesota. This includes development of a statewide health assessment and plan.

The Healthy Minnesota 2020 Plan and efforts of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership are intended for the state as a whole, and thus the membership of the partnership reflects a broad spectrum of interests. The work of this group is critical to the citizens of this state and the Minnesota Department of Health mission of keeping all Minnesotans healthy.

Values and Principles

The Partnership has adopted the following values and principles as a guiding framework:

We Value: Connection

We are committed to strategies and actions that reflect and encourage connectedness across the many parts of our community. Our collaboration, cooperation, and partnerships reflect our shared responsibility for ensuring health equity and creating healthy communities.

We Value: Voice

People know what they need to be healthy, and we need to listen. Every part of every community has an equal claim to having their voices heard and considered in new conversations about health.

We Value: Difference

We are all members of many communities, with great diversity of experience, perspectives, and strengths. Those differences make us stronger together than we would be alone.

In addition, the Partnership approved the following principles. We should:

  1. Strive to improve health equity and eliminate health disparities.
  2. Promote proactive, evidence-based, and innovative health improvement priorities and strategies, including policy, systems and environmental approaches.
  3. Maximize our partnerships and advisory groups and bring their depth and breadth of experiences, skills and technical expertise to the table.
  4. Develop strategic goals and directions for health that complement the goals and priorities of our member organizations and communities.
  5. Be a voice for the health of every Minnesota community.

Creating a healthy Minnesota requires consideration of a wide range of factors that contribute to health, including social, economic and environmental conditions. Of utmost importance is the engagement of Minnesota communities and partners to take coordinated action that will lead to the elimination of health disparities and the achievement of health equity. Strategies related to policy, systems and environmental change present some of the best approaches for accomplishing improvements in the health of all.


The roots of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership date back to 1997, when the Minnesota Department of Health convened the Minnesota Health Improvement Partnership. The purpose of the Minnesota Health Improvement Partnership was to develop coordinated public, private and nonprofit efforts to improve the health of Minnesota residents. Its work was grounded in the vision of health as a shared responsibility, and its focus was on achieving jointly developed health goals and priorities through the use of evidence-based strategies. The Minnesota Health improvement Partnership met from 1997 to 2003 and was charged with the following:

  • To advise the Commissioner of Health on: a) the development of the Minnesota Public Health Goals and action steps to achieve the goals and objectives; and b) issues that affect the development of collaborative partnerships to achieve public health goals in Minnesota.
  • To facilitate communication, education and coordination between participating organizations (and other organizations as appropriate) regarding public health goals and other relevant population health issues and activities.

Since 2003, conversations about accountability, measurement and improved system performance in public health have continued to gain momentum. New national public health standards for state and local health departments highlight the periodic development of a state health assessment and health improvement plan as a key component of public health practice. While Minnesota has had such plans in the past, it has been 10 years since the last statewide assessment and Healthy Minnesota plan were completed.



  • Be an active member of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership by attending meetings, sharing information from each meeting with constituencies, gathering input into the statewide assessment and plan, etc.
  • Bring a public health perspective and leadership to all discussions and decisions.
  • Keep the statewide interests of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership foremost in your decisions and recommendations.
  • Review meeting materials ahead of time and be prepared to contribute clear and focused ideas for team discussion.


  • American Heart Association: Justin Bell
  • BlueCross BlueShield: Vayong Moua (Alternate: Stacy Hiller)
  • Boynton Health Services (University of Minnesota): Carl Anderson (Alternate: Kate Elwell)
  • Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans: Anjuli Mishra (Alternate: Dave Sukharan)
  • Eliminating Health Disparities Grantees: Maria Veronica Svetaz
  • ISAIAH: Lars Negstad (Alternate: Alexa Howart)
  • Itasca Project: Donna Zimmerman (Alternate: DeeDee Varner)
  • Local Public Health Association (Metro): Gretchen Musicant (Alternate: Susan Palchick)
  • Local Public Health Association (Greater Minnesota): Sarah Grosshuesch
  • Minnesota Board on Aging: Kari Benson (Alternate: Mary Hertel)
  • Minnesota Council of Health Plans: Julia Dreier
  • Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs (MCLA): Rosa Tock (Alternate: Samantha Holte)
  • Minnesota Department of Corrections: Kelley Heifort (Alternate: Lee Buckley)
  • Minnesota Department of Health: Jeanne Ayers
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services: Linda Davis-Johnson
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation: Tim Henkel (Alternate: Amber Dallman)
  • Minnesota Hospital Association: Joan Pennington (Alternate: Kristin Loncorich)
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency: Barb Sporlein (Alternate: Katie Topinka)
  • Minnesota Public Health Association: Ken Bence (Alternate: Ann Bajari)
  • National Rural Health Resource Center: Kami Norland (Alternate: Tracy Morton)
  • Sanford Health: Warren Larson
  • State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC): Barbara Burandt
  • TakeAction Minnesota: Chris Conry
  • University of Minnesota College of Design: Thomas Fisher
  • University of Minnesota School of Public Health: John Finnegan (Alternate: Kathleen Call)
  • Voices for Racial Justice: Brett Grant

MDH Staff to Partnership

More Information: Contact Us

  • Dorothy Bliss
  • Jeannette Raymond