About the Diabetes and Health Behavior Unit - Minnesota Department of Health

About the Diabetes and Health Behavior Unit


To work with communities to prevent diabetes and improve the lives of all Minnesotans affected by diabetes.


All Minnesotans have access to high quality education, health care and supportive environments to ensure they can live the healthiest lives possible.

The reality of diabetes in Minnesota

  • In 2017, 7.8% of Minnesota adults had been diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 or 2).1
  • Around in 1 in 10 people with diabetes do not know that they have the disease.2
  • Ethnic groups other than non-Hispanic white experience more type 2 diabetes.2,3
  • Two out of three Minnesota adults are overweight or obese in 2017,1 a leading contributor to type 2 diabetes.

Serving Minnesota

The Diabetes and Health Behavior Unit serves Minnesota in four ways:

  • Utilizing trend data to raise awareness, monitor progress and inform strategies to reduce incidence of diabetes and prediabetes in Minnesota
  • Promoting and supporting healthy behaviors for people with diabetes and those at risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Supporting improvements in the health care system that address diabetes prevention and care.
  • Partnering with communities to increase and sustain local diabetes prevention and diabetes management programs.


The Diabetes and Health Behavior Unit works across Minnesota with local public health, communities, health care systems, health care providers, businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, faith communities  and others to increase awareness about diabetes, diabetes prevention and proven diabetes management and lifestyle programs. We collaborate with partners to address barriers and improve systems so it is as easy as possible for all individuals to get the information, support, and services they need.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the major funder for the Diabetes and Health Behavior Unit’s work in Minnesota.

Diabetes Unit Staff

Teresa Ambroz, MPH, RDN, LN • Diabetes Manager • 651-201-4724 • teresa.ambroz@state.mn.us

Julie Dalton, MS, MCHES • Diabetes Prevention Planner • 651-201-5425 • julie.dalton@state.mn.us

Kris Haugen, MPH • Worksite Wellness Coordinator • 651-201-4134 • kris.haugen@state.mn.us

Renee Kidney, PhD, MPH • Epidemiologist Principal • 651-201-5429 • renee.kidney@state.mn.us

Esther Maki, RN, MS, PHN • Nurse Specialist • 651-201-5982 • esther.maki@state.mn.us

Regina Marino, MPH • CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow • 651-201-5965 • regina.marino@state.mn.us

Erin McHenry • Communications Specialist • 651-201-3532 • erin.mchenry@state.mn.us

Amy Michael • Arthritis Program Coordinator • 651-201-3892 • amy.michael@state.mn.us

Laurel Reger, MBA • Care Improvement Planner • 651-201-5434 • laurel.reger@state.mn.us

Martha Roberts, MPH • Policy Coordinator • 651-201-4092 • martha.roberts@state.mn.us

Tricia Sandberg • Office Specialist • 651-201-5435 • patricia.sandberg@state.mn.us

Ann Schulte • Diabetes Prevention Planner • 651-201-4153 • ann.schulte@state.mn.us

1CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study
2Selvin, E et al. 2017 Identifying Trends in Undiagnosed Diabetes in U.S. Adults by Using a Confirmatory Definition. Ann Intern Med. 167(11):769-776.
3 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Updated Thursday, 02-May-2019 09:52:27 CDT