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Class Notes
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Kathy Karsting, RN, MPH  (SPH 1992)  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Nurse Leader
Kathy Karsting, RN, MPH (SPH 1992) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Nurse Leader
Kathy Karsting, RN, MPH was named a Public Health Nurse Leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in late 2015. As a PHNL, Karsting works with RWJF and the Culture of Health framework to improve population health, well-being and equity. Karsting is employed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, where she is program manager for Maternal Child and Adolescent Health programs, primarily working with the Title V MCH block grant to identify and address priorities of the maternal, infant, early childhood, school-aged, and adolescent populations in that state. Karsting also works with the Nebraska Action Coalition -Future of Nursing organization in a collaborative project to identify, educate others about, and leverage the unique contributions of nursing in health systems transformation. This has primarily taken the form of working to develop Nebraska's emerging workforce of community health workers as valued members of integrated community health care teams. In April 2017 Karsting travelled to Cuba to study public health and better understand achievements toward health equity there, gaining new perspectives that challenge long-held assumptions that ill-health and inequities will always be a consequence of poverty.
Tim retired in 2016 after serving as a health investigator for MN OSHA; a health physicist for the MN Department of Health; and a health risk analyst for the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Andrea is now Assistant Director at the Public Health Research Center at New York University Abu Dhabi. Andrea will be working on tobacco-related studies linked to the UAE Healthy Future Study, a prospective cohort study aimed at understanding the determinants of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
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Heidi was honored to be recognized by the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota as a Civil Servant of the Year, 2016. Her nomination read:

"During 2015, Heidi was a driver for positive change, demonstrating unwavering dedication and unparalleled professionalism highlighted by these examples: Heidi worked closely with the state to develop an independent, unfunded Rapid Response Team which is only the second of its kind in the country. During the year, she represented our agency in multiple national working groups as well as training courses for industry, states and law enforcement personnel. She managed numerous food-borne illness outbreaks - at one point handling five concurrent outbreaks and monitoring two others. Throughout the year, she fostered a collaborative spirit between the District and our State and federal partners, resulting in more effective communication and coordination and heightened cooperation and collaboration between the District office and its States."

Contact Information:

2751 Gregory Drive N
Billings, MT 59102

The following is provided as a summary introduction to my professional career and experience as well as my current career interests. A complete curriculum vitae and resume of my professional work to date is available upon request. Please consider this information confidential unless otherwise released with my permission.

I am a board-certified orthopedic hand surgeon working in the Hand and Upper Extremity Center of Excellence at Ortho Montana in Billings, Montana. We are a tertiary referral center serving a large four state area in the Mountain West region. During my tenure, I have held numerous leadership positions, including group president as well as a member of the Board of Directors at our partner hospital. I have been integral in the completion of a complex merger with a competing orthopedic group, the development of an orthopedic service line and construction of an inpatient orthopedic unit, and ongoing work around the development of an ambulatory care campus. Finally, I am completing a Masters in Health Administration within the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

I now have a desire to leverage my experience and acquired management skills to affect change on a more macroscopic level. Specifically, I am interested in pursuing opportunities within larger integrated health systems with a core mission and vision to improve care quality and the patient experience while simultaneously decreasing costs. I believe that my unique insights as a physician leader and practitioner as well as my passion to engage providers around these triple aim principles uniquely qualifies me to assist organizations as they transition to value-based care models.
Lorna Schmidt (MPH '10) accepted a position as the executive director of the Local Public Health Association of Minnesota in February 2015. The position brings her back to the Twin Cities from Washington, DC, where she had been working as a research manager with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Angie Lillehei PhD, MPH, RN, '14 has an article that has been published online and is in press: Lillehei, A., & Halcόn, L. (2014). A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0311 and Angie has recently completed her PhD in Nursing, with a minor in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices. Her research was a randomized controlled trial on the "Effect of lavender aromatherapy via inhalation and sleep hygiene on sleep in college students with self-reported sleep issues".
Steve LeMaster (PharmD '05; MPH '08) passed the 3-part board certification examination given by the American Board of Toxicology in October 2013 and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).
Sylvester Onyeneho, PhD, MPH '11

An article by Sylvester N. Onyeneho and SPH faculty advisor Craig Hedberg (PhD ’93), “An Assessment of Food Safety Needs of Restaurants in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria” has been published in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health. The article is based on Onyeneho’s MPH project.
Megin Nichols (MPH ’08)

Dr. Megin Nichols was recently awarded the James Steele 2013 Veterinary Public Health Award. The award is given to a current or former CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer who has made outstanding contributions in the field of veterinary public health. It recognizes outstanding contributions in the investigation, control, or prevention of zoonotic diseases or other animal-related human health problems.
Mary Ellen Wells (MHA ’84)

Lauren Hills and Mary Ellen Wells have established an alumni organization for women. “Women’s Organization” is a Twin Cities based group for female students and alumni to build relationships and network in non-professional settings. The group held its inaugural event in May and a subsequent event in the fall.
Tricia Todd, MPH ’94 (PHAP), assistant director at the U of M Health Careers Center, is the 2013 recipient of the W. C. Woodward Award from the American Public Health Association. This award is given to a health administration member who has advanced the practice of health administration through outstanding leadership and contributions in a management or educational setting and who has provided significant service in that area.

Tricia received the award at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Boston on November 5, 2013.
Meredith “Meg” Bruening, who graduated in 2008 with an MPH from the Public Health Nutrition program, is among the 2013 recipients of the Early Independence Award. This award, bestowed by the National Institutes of Health, provides an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists, who have recently received their doctoral degree or finished medical residency, to skip traditional post-doctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions.

Bruening holds a PhD in nutrition from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences at the University of Minnesota. She is now an assistant professor at Arizona State University.
Brian Sinotte (MHA/MBA ’04)
Brian Sinotte recently became CEO of MetroSouth Medical Center located in Blue Island, Ill. He previously served as chief operating officer of Porter Health Care System in Valparaiso, Ind.
Alicen Spaulding, a 2013 graduate from the epidemiology PhD program, recently began a position at the National Institutes of Health as a Presidential Management Fellow designated to the National Institute of infectious Diseases. Spaulding says, “I look forward to connecting with any alumni working in or around the DC area.”
Sherie Apungu, a 2011 graduate of the Health Services Research, Policy & Administration MS program, recently relocated to Boston, Mass. where she serves as senior analyst of global marketing strategy, research and analysis at Boston Scientific.
Jesse G. Tischer was promoted to chief operating officer of Sanford Health Network in Sioux Falls, S.D. from vice-president, Sanford Health Network (N.D.) Region.
Javon Bea (MHA ’78) Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wis. was named to AARP’s 2013 list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Mercy Health System is led by president and chief executive officer, Javon Bea, MHA ’78.
Lindsey E. Fabian, MPH ’00 (epidemiology) was presented the Award for Excellence from the American Public Health Association Council of Affiliates for her significant leadership, support for innovative initiatives, and effectiveness in her efforts within the Minnesota Affiliate and Great Lakes Region. The Great Lakes Region also recognized her with a certificate of appreciation for her contribution and leadership in this regional public health coalition. Lindsey currently serves as a senior project coordinator in the SPH’s Division of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Rocklon “Rocky” B. Chapin has been named president and CEO of the Benedictine Health System in Duluth, effective January 1, 2014. Chapin joined the Benedictine Health System in January 2013 and currently serves as senior vice president, business development and strategic planning. He has been a leader in the management and health care industry for more than 35 years with experience in operations improvement, board and physician relations, managed care negotiations, strategic planning and business development.
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