Meet the 2018 SPH Community Partner Award Recipients

Sarah Corner | October 10, 2018

Help us recognize this year’s award recipients at the 15th annual Community Partners Celebration on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Star Award

Lisa R. Gemlo MPH ’97, RD, LD

Minnesota Department of Health
Program Coordinator, Comprehensive Cancer Control Unit, Minnesota Department of Health Chair, ASPHN National Fruit and Vegetable Council

In her current role, Lisa Gemlo provides support for cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship initiatives. Lisa has over 30 years of public health experience, including work in chronic disease prevention in the US Territory of Guam, program management and leadership for community based nutrition education programs for the University of MN Extension Service, as well as private practice consultation with state programs. For the past 8 years, Lisa has worked at the Minnesota Department of Health. Much of her work at MDH has focused on providing strategic leadership, management, and execution for many initiatives to increase access to healthy foods focusing on environmental and systems changes such as the creation of the first Farm to School Leadership team in Minnesota. Lisa also served as the MDH lead for the development of the Minnesota Food Charter, a shared roadmap developed by thousands of Minnesotans to ensure reliable access to safe, affordable, healthy food for all the state’s residents. Lisa and her family are avid gardeners including growing giant pumpkins, and they are on a quest to visit all 50 state capitals.

Gemlo was nominated by Associate Professor Jamie Stang. Stang wrote in her nomination, “Lisa Gemlo has been a long-time supporter of the SPH, particularly around training and mentoring our students… Lisa has a knack for nurturing the leadership potential in our students. Her consistent and ongoing support of the SPH, our faculty and our students deserves recognition.”

 

Meghan Kimmel

President, Portico Healthnet

Meghan Kimmel is president of Portico Healthnet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all Minnesotans access health care coverage and navigate the health care system. For 23 years, Portico has been a trusted resource in the community, connecting individuals and families with the health services and community resources they need. Portico’s culturally-competent, multi-lingual staff provide personalized enrollment and navigation services, including MNsure and charity care application assistance, dental navigation, and referrals to low-cost clinics. The clients Portico serves — predominantly low‐income people, people of color, immigrants, and people with limited education — are at the highest risks of being uninsured, and their barriers to coverage and care are persistent and complex. Kimmel joined Portico Healthnet in 2015 as vice president and was named president in 2016. In this role, she is charged with setting the strategic direction for Portico as it responds to the shifting health care landscape. Prior to joining Portico, Kimmel held various leadership positions with organizations that advance health care access and equity. Kimmel holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Kimmel was nominated by Professors Lynn Blewett and Kathleen Call, who wrote, “Meghan is the President of Portico HealthNet, a safety net program providing low-income, uninsured children, families and adults overcome barriers to quality health care coverage and services. Meghan is a change maker and a connector. She recently brought together researcher from the SPH’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) and the BCBS Foundation of Minnesota to explore opportunities to learn more about Minnesota’s uninsured to increase enrollment and outreach activities to improve coverage and access… Meghan’s commitment to those without coverage and her connections across the community are critical to the success and impact of the project.”

 

Mark Linzer MD, MACP

M Thomas Stillman Endowed Chair and Vice Chief of the Department of Medicine for Education, Mentorship and Scholarship, Hennepin Healthcare
Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Dr. Mark Linzer has had teaching positions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Duke University, Tufts University, and the University of Wisconsin. In addition to leadership positions at Duke and Wisconsin, he is a highly involved clinician, teacher, and researcher. He has received teaching awards from students and residents at Duke University and the University of Wisconsin, and was co-founder and President of the Association of Chiefs in General Internal Medicine (ACGIM). He has scholarly interests in the areas of syncope (blackout spells) and physician worklife. Dr. Linzer runs the Office of Professional Worklife at Hennepin Healthcare, which is responsible for the work lives and wellness of 600 providers.

Dr. Linzer received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and his MD degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He then completed his residency in Internal Medicine in the Social Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Dr. Linzer was nominated by Professor John Connett, who wrote, “Mark Linzer is widely known for his research in physician burnout and physician interactions with medical record systems and other areas. His work is highly relevant to public health, with an emphasis on the effects of modern sources of stress on health professionals, and on the delivery of health services to people who are disadvantaged (e.g., homeless, drug-addicted, mental illnesses, multiple disease conditions). He recognizes and appreciates contributions from researchers outside his own area, and is extremely generous in giving credit to his fellow researchers. He is highly deserving of recognition for his important work and for his mutually rewarding collaborative research with the School of Public Health.”

 

Senator Tony Lourey Minnesota State Senate

Tony Lourey was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2006. He grew up in a politically-active family and has been involved in public policy most of his career. Prior to election to the Senate, Lourey served as a Kerrick Township supervisor for nine years.

Lourey is a 1985 graduate of Askov High School in Askov, Minnesota. He received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from then-William Mitchell College of Law, where he focused on labor law and public policy. Lourey has worked as a public policy consultant, assisting county and state governments nationwide in finding ways to finance their health and human services programs. Upon election to the Minnesota Senate, Lourey decided to discontinue his consulting business. In addition to his senatorial duties, Lourey operates a small beef farm and teaches a course at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health.

Lourey has been happily married to his wife, Marlana, for 25 years and have three children: Chelsea, Stuart and Colton. They reside in Kerrick just around the corner from where he was raised. In his spare time, Lourey enjoys hunting, distance running, motorcycling, and building cars.

Sen. Lourey was nominated by Professor Lynn Blewett. In her nominaton, Blewett wrote, “Senator Lourey brings hands-on political and policy experience to the classroom and is committed to forging good working relationships between the University and the health policy community. Among his many contributions to the school, he has served on several student Masters Projects and provided guidance to many students seeking positions in the local health policy arena. He also participated in our Three Senator event including U.S. Senators David Durenberger and Al Franken serving as an effective and knowledgeable moderator.”

 

Organization Award

Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging

The Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging was nominated by Joseph E. Gaugler, Professor and Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging, who wrote, “The Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging (MNLCOA) brings together 30 of the most influential organizations in aging services and policy to develop common good, common ground on systems and policy for older adults, caregivers and direct care workers. The core objective of the MNLCOA is to create communities and systems that support aging with dignity and a spirit of well-being in Minnesota. The MNLCOA is a model of stakeholder engagement to not only advance practice and policy, but community-relevant research on aging as well.

The MNLCOA is the premier organization in Minnesota dedicated to enhancing well-being of older persons and their families in the state. It has achieved this stature through a dedicated focus to community engagement and partnership across organizations (including the University of Minnesota), and embodies the spirit of public health.”

Agency Award

Lake Street Council and Hope Community

Hope Community and Lake Street Council were nominated by Jane Paulson, Senior Engineer, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP).

The Phillips Community is a diverse and low-wealth area comprised of four neighborhoods in south Minneapolis. Despite decades of revitalization efforts, the Phillips community remains one of the most environmentally overburdened and economically vulnerable areas of Minneapolis, with residents at increased risk of experiencing the adverse effects of poor air quality. For the past two years, MnTAP has partnered with Hope Community and the Lake Street Council to sponsor student interns working with small businesses in the Phillips communities to reduce air emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). 61 companies were contacted, with 29 agreeing to participate and 23 switching to safer cleaning products. This work resulted in eliminating 555 pounds of HAPs and1015 pounds of VOC emissions, positively impacting general population health and the environment. In addition, hundreds of community members were educated about the health and environmental impacts of cleaning products and the availability of safer alternatives.

Without the support, resources, and community knowledge of Hope Community and the Lake Street Council, this project would not have achieved this level of success. MnTAP is currently preparing to continue and expand the work of this successful partnership with a third intern in the summer 2019.”

Global Partner Award

Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL)

PREVAIL partners include Moses Badio, Mark Kieh, Stephen Kennedy, Moses Massaquoi, and Mosoka Fallah. PREVAIL was nominated by Professor Jim Neaton, who wrote, “Beginning in 2014 many of us in biostatistics have been working closely with colleagues in Liberia and at NIH on research on the prevention and treatment of Ebola virus disease. These 5 individuals and hundreds of more working on PREVAIL under their guidance have worked tirelessly on vaccine and treatment trials and a large cohort study of Ebola survivors and their close contacts. We would like to recognize our partners in PREVAIL as a global partner for the high quality of their work in conducting large clinical trials and observational studies. They have helped establish a model for how research that can provide scientifically valid results can be implemented under difficult field conditions.”

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