MPO’s Kunsche Award 

is given annually to a member of the perinatal healthcare community for their outstanding work and dedication to advancing the field and furthering our mission.

The history of the Kunsche Award

The Kunsche Award is a custom-designed print commissioned by Great Plains Organization for Perinatal Healthcare, Inc. (GPO).

GPO was a regional organization founded in the early ’70’s and was dedicated to advancing perinatal healthcare outcomes; Minnesota was one of its member states. After GPO’s dissolution in the early 2000’s, the remaining prints were gifted to MPO to continue the tradition of honoring the hard work and commitment of our many talented perinatal healthcare professionals. 


Congratulations to our 2020 Kunsche Award Winner: Melissa C. Bray!

Melissa Bray is a Nurse Clinician for CentraCare Health. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Education from Western Governors University and has numerous years of experience working as a Registered Nurse, as well as an OB Educator and Perinatal Expert Consultant.

Melissa has consistently been recognized as a leader in improving perinatal health throughout Minnesota, earning the March of Dimes ‘Women’s Health’ Minnesota Nurse of the Year Award in October of 2020.

MPO’s Kunsche Award is given annually to a member of the perinatal healthcare community for their outstanding work and dedication to advancing the field and furthering our mission. Melissa is an active member of the Minnesota Perinatal Quality Collaborative steering committee and faculty for the Maternal Hypertension Initiative. She was instrumental in developing resources for the Maternal Hypertension Initiative and spearheading the Blue Band Project to bring community awareness to maternal hypertension. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving perinatal health!

  • Previous Recipients 

    2019: Yasuko Yamamura, MD; MHealth Fairview

    2018: Jeanne Mrozek, MD; Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Hospital

    2017: Cecilia Wachdorf, CNM, ARNP, PhD

    2016: Cindy Koslowski, CFNP, MSN, MBA, RN; MHealth Fairview

    2015: Sandy Hoffman, MS, RNC-EFM; Mother Baby Center of Abbott Northwestern and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

    2014: Deb Peters, NNP; Essentia Health – Duluth

    2013: Jill Bauer, MA, RN; Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

    2012: Lynn Carpentier; Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

    2011: Heather Swanson, MD; CentraCare Health – Paynesville

    2010: Tina Kippes, RNC, CLC; Mayo Clinic Health System – Menomonie

    2009: Marianne Keuhn, BSW

    2008: Kirk Ramin, MD; University of Minnesota – Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health

    2007: Denise Palmer, RN; University of Minnesota Health

    2006: Linda Christinsen-Rengel, NP-WH; Regions Hospital – The Breast Health Center

    2005: Susan Boehm, RN, BSN, MS; Alere Health

    2004: Jo Crosby, RNC, MS, NNP; Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

    If you know of award winners prior to 2004, please contact us!

Would you like to nominate a member of the perinatal healthcare community?

We’d love to hear from you.