Director of Nursing-Birth Center at Regions Hospital
Perinatal and Informatics nurse leader known for excellence and exceptional commitment to collaboration, planning, communicating, coordinating, taking initiative, and problem-solving to ensure excellence in healthcare delivery. Has effectively led interdisciplinary teams to improve and standardize healthcare delivery in the United States and Qatar. Passionate about women’s healthcare, organizational structure, Health information systems and the advancement of nursing leadership and governance as a foundation to achieve the highest quality, evidence-based, best practice across healthcare systems.
Dr. Mira Grice Sheff joined the Minnesota Department of Health as the State Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist in August 2015. She is also the Principal Investigator for the Minnesota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (MN PRAMS), a joint project between the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is designed to find out why some babies are born healthy and others are not. Prior to joining the health department, she was an assistant professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she conducted research and taught graduate-level courses in the subjects of women’s health and injury and violence prevention. She received both her Masters and PhD from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences.
Alexandria is an MD-PhD student in Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration with a
focus on racism, geography, and maternal-infant health.
Amy works as a Program Data Analyst and Public Health Nurse
Dr. Downey is an attending neonatologist. She relocated to the Twin Cities in 2019 from Chicago, IL where she was in practice for over 5 years. She did her pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and her neonatal-perinatal fellowship at University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Outside of patient care, her main interest is the intersection of clinical excellence with quality outcomes. She has a masters degree in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety from Northwestern University. She is married and has 3 children.
Anne Walaszek, MPH (Anishinaabe) is the Maternal and Child Health Quality Improvement Specialist in the Women and Infant Health Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. In her role, she leads two quality improvement grants, the Perinatal Quality Collaborative and the Communities Collaborating to Prevent Girls Opioid Abuse.
Ms. Walaszek has experience working at a national non-profit addressing cancer inequities within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. In this role, she provided leadership for a clinic and community health approach to develop and implement culturally tailored evidence-based interventions to effectively build capacity in health systems across Indian Country. Her public health experience reflects grant writing, program development, research and data management throughout her experiences at the Minnesota Department of Health Diabetes Program, Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, and SAMHSA for their Child, Adolescent and Family Branch.
Ari is an experienced labor and delivery nurse and newly Certified Nurse Midwife. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and grew up in Hermantown, Minnesota. She graduated from The College of Saint Scholastica (BSN) in 2016, and most recently, The University of Minnesota (DNP) in 2020. She was involved in the Improvement of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Outcomes project and her interests include health disparities among minority women; adolescent health; and, perinatal mood disorders.
Health Care Policy Development at Minnesota Department of Human Services
Jamie Galbreath is a Quality Improvement Associate Director at a nonprofit health plan, UCare in serving more than 400,000 members. She has received her doctorate in Public Health with a specialization in Community Health Promotion and Education. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and completed a certificate program for a mini MBA in health care management from St. Thomas University. She has over 10 years of experience in the health care industry and currently leads clinical and public health performance improvement projects designed to improve member health outcomes.
Jen seeks to provide relationship-centered care that supports client agency. Offering evidence-based information coupled with shared decision-making, she encourages clients to take charge of their own health. Recognizing that we all come from varied life experiences, she continues to keep herself informed so she may provide culturally safe, gender-safe, and resilience-promoting care in relationships with clients.
Birth Center, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Health
Dr. Nezworski enjoys taking care of diverse populations of women during adolescence, pregnancy, menopause, and beyond. She thinks of her role as an obstetrician/gynecologist as a bridge to information about women’s health and works collaboratively with her patients to explore solutions that will work best for their own personal needs.
Director of Kinooamaage Wii’gaming (Place of Learning)
Megan A. Allyse, Ph.D., is broadly focused on the translation of emerging medical technologies from research endeavors into clinical practice. In particular, she is interested in issues around reproductive ethics and women’s health and health disparities in access to care.
Dr. Allyse is also interested in enhancing the practice of clinical genomics, especially the experiences and attitudes of underserved populations, and in improving mechanisms for returning results and for patient education. The overall goal of her research is to provide appropriate, high-level care to all patients, regardless of socio-economic status.
Dr. Rauk leads quality for Fairview System in OB for 10 years and serves at MHA as the lead of their Perinatal Committee. He is the Vice-Chair of the Quality and Safety Department and an OB-GYN at the University of Minnesota.
Birth to Age 8 Collaborative Coordinator
Susan has been a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Women’s Health for over 30 years. She has a long history with MPO as a volunteer, conference presenter, planning committee member, and has served on the Board of Directors. She is currently the MPO Executive Director and Co-Director of the Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MNPQC).
Dr Stanhope is a full time OB/Gyn hospitalist and medical director of Women and Children’s services at North Memorial Health Hospital. His clinical interests include hypertension, complex deliveries, and postoperative opioid prescribing. Prior to his current position, he provided contracted OB coverage at a number of facilities, high and low volume, in several states and completed two missions to South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders from which he gained invaluable experience learning the myriad needs and challenges different facilities and systems face.