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 at the University of Minnesota. She is focused on reducing disparities in perinatal outcomes. Her research has focused on structural racism, quality improvement in perinatal care, infant nutrition, and medical education.
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.
Arielle Skalisky, DNP, APRN, CNM, PHN is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who identifies as a Black Midwife. She graduated from the University of Minnesota’s DNP program in May 2020 and she recently accepted a joint position with MHealth Fairview/University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota as a CNM and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Skalisky has worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery for nearly 5 years. She was a McNair Scholar at The College of St. Scholastica and is co-founder of the Indigenous and Midwives of Color Committee of the Minnesota Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Her clinical and research interests include: perinatal mood disorders, substance use disorders in pregnancy, reproductive justice, and birth equity in minority and underserved communities.
Ellen is the Manager of Maternal & Infant Health Initiatives in Minnesota for March of Dimes. She attended Smith College and graduated with a degree in History and Latin American Studies. Subsequently, she spent time working in International Development in Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Brazil. While in Latin America, Ellen was able to focus on community engagement and public health, executing many community and volunteer-led projects. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. She has been with March of Dimes, fighting for the health of all moms and babies for the past three years.
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.
Jennifer has partnered with individuals and families to enhance their sexual and reproductive health for over 25 years. A midwife by trade, Jennifer centers her work on the principles of Reproductive Justice, and values diversity in thought, gender, race, and lived experience. She believes that everyone ultimately wants to be seen, heard, respected, and to be their best, healthiest self.
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)
Marcia has been an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2000. She was coordinator of the Hennepin County WIC Peer Breastfeeding Support Program from 2005 to 2015. Marcia obtained an MPH in Maternal/Child Health from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in 2015 and now works as an epidemiologist with the state WIC office. Marcia has conducted research on racial and cultural disparities in access to lactation services, the impact of peer services on breastfeeding rates, and the effect of in-hospital formula feeding on breastfeeding duration. She is also a founder and active member of the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition.
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.
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.