Center for Health Equity Advisory Committee - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council

HEAL Council MembersThe Health Equity Advisory and Leadership (HEAL) Council was created as part of a broader effort by the Minnesota Department of Health to address Minnesota’s disparities in health status – particularly those persistent disparities across various ethnic, racial and regional groups. The HEAL Council represents the voices of many communities most severely impacted by health inequities across the state, including racial and ethnic minority groups, rural Minnesotans, Minnesotans with disabilities, American Indians, LGBTQ community members, refugees and immigrants.

The council assists the Minnesota Department of Health in carrying out the efforts outlined in the department’s strategic plan and its Advancing Health Equity report, including advising on specific MDH policies and programs. The council also assists MDH in developing strong performance measures related to advancing health equity. By February 15, 2019, and annually thereafter, the council will prepare and submit a report to the Commissioner of Health that summarizes the activities of the council and specific objectives the group will pursue during the upcoming year.

Members represent multiple communities and organizations that work to advance the health of those most impacted by health inequities in Minnesota. They bring both expertise on a range of health topics and the lived experiences of their respective geographic/cultural communities. The knowledge and wisdom of council members will enhance the work of MDH in advancing health equity for all communities in Minnesota.

  • Abiola Abu-Bakr, Minnesota Black Nurses Association and St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health
  • Sameerah Bilal, African American Babies Projects and Coalition
  • Camille Cyprian, Twin Cities United Way
  • Jokho Farah, People’s Center Clinics and Services
  • Dylan Galos, Wilder Research
  • Therese Genis, Fairview Health Services
  • Alexandra Griffin, The Aliveness Project
  • Carlos Guereca, Centro Tyrone Guzman
  • Rachel Hardeman, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
  • Samuel Moose, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's Human Services Division
  • Tamiko Morgan, Hennepin Health/MHP
  • Houa Moua, University of Minnesota
  • Laurelle Myhra, Native American Community Clinic
  • Jennifer Nguyen Moore, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Environmental Justice Advisory Group
  • Melanie Plucinski, City of Minneapolis
  • Darin Prescott, Lower Sioux Indian Community
  • Cassandra Silveira, University of Minnesota Extension
  • Felicia Sy, Reclaim
  • Joann Usher, Wise Women Consulting
  • Va Yang, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
January 17, 2019, 12-4 pm
Minneapolis American Indian Center
1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
January Meeting Minutes (PDF)

March 12, 2019, 9 am-1 pm
Veterans Service Building
W 12th St., Saint Paul, MN 55155
March Meeting Minutes (PDF)

May 23, 2019, 3-7 pm
Minnesota Department of Health, Room B-144
625 Robert St. N., Saint Paul, MN 55164
May Meeting Minutes (PDF)

July 11, 2019, 12-4 pm
EMERGE, 1834 Emerson Ave. N.,
Minneapolis, MN 55411

September 10, 2019, 3-7 pm
Neighborhood House
179 Robie Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55107
September Meeting Minutes (PDF)

November 14, 2019, 9 am-1 pm
East Side Community Center
1700 NE 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55413

Recommendations to Commissioner of Health

In January 2019, the HEAL Council released a memo to Commissioner Malcolm identifying critical issues and recommending solutions for the agency to address as the state moved into a new gubernatorial administration. The memo is available through the link below:

HEAL Council Memo to Commissioner of Health

In April 2019, the Commissioner of Health sent a response to the council chairs and members to thank them for their recommendations, share current work related to the council's recommendations, and to pledge her full support in the important work of advancing health equity. The commissioner's response is available through the link below:

Commissioner's Response to HEAL Council Memo

Updated Wednesday, 13-Nov-2019 16:30:12 CST