Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday, March 12 from 9 to 10 am as she talks with Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Jackie Dionne, and John Poupart to discuss the report to the MN Legislature: "Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota." We will also talk about building state/community partnerships and the report: "Using Culture as an Asset-A Time for Action."
The introduction from Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Commissioner of Health, says in part: ....today’s statistics tell us that we are still far from the equality envisioned by our country’s founders or dreamed about ... Those shortcomings are starkly evident in Minnesota where, on average, people are among the healthiest in the country, while a significant number of Minnesotans,particularly people of color and American Indians, are not as healthy as they should be. Sadly, the disparities present in Minnesota are some of the greatest in the country."
Melanie Peterson-Hickey graduated from MSU in 1980 with majors in Sociology and Corrections. She completed her master's degree in Administrative Leadership in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1986 and her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota in 1998. Melanie worked for several years in institutions of higher education in student affairs, administration, and teaching including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota. Since 2000, she has been employed in the public health field as a Senior Research Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Jackie Dionne is the Director of American Indian Health, Tribal & Community Liaison for the Minnesota Department of Health. She is the Minnesota Department of Health's first Indian Health Director. She acts as a liaison between MDH and the tribes. Commissioner Ehlinger established this new position to work with MDH to accomplish its mission of protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans. Jackie brings with her a wealth of experience working with the Twin Cities American Indian Community and previously serving on several boards that have been instrumental in the Twin Cities community.
John Poupart is responsible directly and indirectly for helping start many American Indian social service programs in Minnesota. He is founder of Anishinabe Longhouse, a culturally specific Corrections halfway house for American Indian ex-offenders. He was appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich as Ombudsman for Corrections; served on the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission; Minneapolis City Planning Commission, and; Minneapolis Charter Commission. Academic background: Masters of Public Policy (MPA), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1980. BA, Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota, 1977. Leadership Seminar, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute, 1983. Paradox of Leadership, 1985