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.

  • Dr. Jokho Farah, Peoples Center Health Services (Co-Chair)
  • Jennifer Nguyen Moore, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Sameerah Bilal, African American Babies Projects and Coalition
  • Samuel Moose, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's Human Services Division
  • Dr. Laurelle Myhra, Native American Community Clinic
  • Therese Genis, Fairview Health Services
  • Cassandra Silveira, Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), U of MN Extension
  • Joann Usher, Wise Women Consulting
  • Jeremy Hanson Willis, JustUs Health
  • Ayah Mohammed, Family Tree Clinic
  • Callie Chamberlain, Optum Health
  • Dr. Tracine Asberry, St. Paul Youth Services
  • Jessica Coleman, Hennepin County
  • Talia Miracle, The Food Group
  • Zitlali Chavez Ayala, Ramsey County
  • Sue Grafstrom, Roseau County/MDH-Public Health
  • Anita Buel, Commission on Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing
Meetings will be held at Wilder Foundation at 451 Lexington Ave N, St. Paul from 12:00pm – 2:00pm. The room for each meeting is noted below. There is free parking onsite at Wilder and the building is adjacent to the Green Line and multiple bus routes.

  • January 17, 2020 in Frogtown 2510 - January 2020 Meeting Minutes
  • February 14, 2020 in Frogtown 2510 - February 2020 Meeting Minutes
  • March 13, 2020 in Frogtown 2510 - March 2020 Meeting Minutes
  • April 10, 2020 in Frogtown 2510 - April 2020 Meeting Minutes
  • May 8, 2020 in Frogtown 2510
  • June 19, 2020 in Summit-University 2610  
  • July 10, 2020 in Summit-University 2610
  • August 14, 2020 in Frogtown 2510
  • September 11, 2020 in Frogtown 2510
  • October 23, 2020 in Summit-University 2610
  • November 13, 2020 in Frogtown 2510
  • December 11, 2020 in Summit-University 2610

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 Monday, 19-Oct-2020 10:18:05 CDT