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Minnesota Public Health Association

Since 1907, MPHA has been dedicated to creating a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. 

2022 to 2023 Policy Forum Series:

Safety is no accident: Public health approaches to injury prevention

We are pleased to announce that we are back to in-person forums at the New Brighton Community Center!  Additionally, all forums will be broadcast on Facebook Live. To view the live stream, click here.

Check-in and a light breakfast begin at 7:30am. Forums begin promptly at 8:00 am and conclude at 9:30am.

Our four forums will bring together thought-leaders and public health advocates working to address safety issues that surround us. 

View the 2022-2023 series flyer!

Sponsorship opportunities!

Register for May 12 Policy Forum

Agenda for May 12th

May 12, 2023…on the Move

You won't want to miss the final policy forum of the 2022-2023 series! Minnesotans are always on the move – in cars, on motorcycles, on bikes, using public transportation, and on the water, too. From road safety to water safety, how are public health initiatives working to keep us safe while we are on the go?

Moderator: Dave Golden, MPHA Past President


Dorian Grilley, Executive Director, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

Michael Hanson, Director, MN Dept. of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety

New for May 12: Following the forum, we'll have an informal career advice/mentoring discussion for students. Any student, or interested attendee, is welcome to stay. Please rsvp on the registration to help us plan for extra coffee!

Dave Golden started working for the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology in 1984 where he also discovered a love of Public Health. He was part of the Minnesota Health Health Project from 1984-1989 developing and implementing strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease in one of three cities selected as intervention sites. As the Heart Health Project intervention period ended, he moved to Boynton Health on the University of Minnesota campus and worked as a health educator. In 1998, Dave became Director of Public Health and Communications. He was an active member of APHA, MPHA (Past President), American College Health Association and North American College Health Association. He retired from the University of Minnesota after 38 action packed, fun filled years of working with some of the most wonderful people one could ever hope to have as colleagues and friends. If it's not fun, it's not Public Health!

But there's more. Dave is the owner of a small business called Wilderness Water Safety, a specialized lifeguard training for wilderness trip leaders. Since the age of 14, he has been involved in helping people be safer around the water. It started with teaching swimming at the neighborhood pool, becoming a lifeguard, lifeguard instructor, a first aid and CPR instructor, and 8 consecutive years as a summer camp waterfront director at a few different locations in MN and WI. He also developed a love of spending time in the wilderness. In 1982, Dave went canoeing for 6 months with his brother Jim on a trip that started on the Minnesota River in Bloomington, Minnesota to the Mississippi and down to New Orleans. Dave then started traveling, as often as he could, with offspring and friends into wilderness areas including the BWCA, Quetico, Woodland Caribou, other parts of Ontario, Algonquin and opportunities here and there that seem to pop up. Wilderness Water Safety provides me with a nice combination of lifeguarding, wilderness and public health while traveling to different organizations around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Manitoba. Dave shares he can't wait to get the grandkids out there.

Middle-aged caucasian presenting man wearing glasses smiling standing outdoors in front of a lake with conifer tree and grass in the background.

A middle-aged/older caucusian-appearing man wearing a button down checkered shirt and glasses stnading outside a shingled house.

Dorian Grilley is the Executive Director, The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Dorian has worked with non-profits as a volunteer or staff for almost forty years, volunteering many years with the Minnesota Coalition of Bicyclists, BikeMN’s predecessor, and serving as the BikeMN executive director since 2009. He worked for the Minnesota DNR from 1979 to 1996, and then served as the Executive Director Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota 1996 to 2008. Dorian currently serves on the board of the Lake Links (White Bear Lake) Trails Association. He commuted 25-30 miles round trip daily for 25 years and raced for more than a decade. He and his wife Margie live in Mahtomedi near White Bear Lake and enjoys bicycling, nordic skiing, sailing his ice boats, fishing, and working on his model railroad.

Michael Hanson serves as the Director for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety and is the designated Governor's Highway Safety Representative for the State of Minnesota. Mike was appointed to his current position in October of 2017. Prior to being appointed as the Director of the DPS  Office of Traffic Safety, Mike served with the Minnesota State Patrol retiring with the rank of Captain.  In course of his State Patrol career Mike specialized in a several areas of service including as:  a crash reconstruction specialist, DWI and SFST trainer/instructor, Field Training Officer, Mobile Field Force Co-commander and as an IACP Leadership training facilitator. Mike currently serves as a co-chair for the state Toward Zero Deaths initiative and also as co-chair of the Governor’s CAV Advisory Council’s safety committee. 


Headshot photo of a middle-aged/older Caucasian-appearing man wearing a suit and glasses.

Past 2022-2023 MPHA "Public Health Matters" Policy Forums

March 24 recording

Agenda for March 24, 2023

March 24, 2023…in our Communities & Schools

Are our community spaces becoming more violent? Is anywhere safe? This forum will examine the initiatives that have emerged to change the narrative about community safety and the community environments where we live, learn, work and play.

Moderator: Jean Streetar

Jean Streetar is retired from the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment where she worked as a health educator and public health program manager for 19.5 years. She holds an undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato (MSU-M) in Physical Education, Art, and Health Education along with a Coaching Certificate. Her graduate degree in Community Health is also from MSU-M.

Ms. Streetar followed her first career path teaching and coaching in Faribault, Nicollet, and Mankato, MN. She then earned a graduate degree and pursued a chemical dependency counseling certificate. This led to opportunities at MSU-M, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato, Todd County Public Health, St. Cloud-Catholic Charities and finally Washington County.

Currently, Ms. Streetar is active in the MN Public Health Association and is Secretary for the MN Society for Public Health Education. She has been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2003.

Panelist: Lisa Clemons

Lisa Clemons is a retired Minneapolis Police Sergeant and the founder of A Mother’s Love Initiative (AMLI), a Boots on the Ground grassroots organization she founded in 2014 to give leadership and a voice to African American mothers and daughters, two groups she believes are often forgotten. One of seven kids born into poverty in Chicago and raised by a strong single mom, Lisa was inspired as a child to pursue a career in law enforcement after witnessing a positive giving act toward her and her mother by Chicago Police. She later moved to Minneapolis with her family when she was 15 years old and became a Minneapolis Police Officer nearly a decade later.

Lisa is a single mother of five and serves as Executive Director of A Mother's Love Initiative. A Mother’s Love’s grassroots outreach work looks at both the cause and effects of violence against women as well as the correlation between violence against African American women and poverty. Because of her work with A Mother’s Love, Lisa was appointed by Governor Tim Walz as a representative of the Missing and Murdered African American Women Task Force. The A Mother’s Love motto is: Save the mother, you save the child. Save the father, you save the family. Save the family, you save the community.

Panelist: Cedrick Frazier

Minnesota Representative Cedrick Frazier serves District 43A, including New Hope and Crystal. He was first elected in 2020 and is married with 3 children. His current Committee Assignments include: Vice Chair Judiciary Finance and Civil Law, Education Policy, Public Safety Finance and Policy, & Workforce Development Finance and Policy. Cedrick has a B.A., psychology, University of Minnesota, Morris; M.A., urban studies and local government management, Minnesota State University, Mankato; J.D., William Mitchell College of Law.

Panelist: Mark Osler

Mark Osler is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas (MN), where he was chosen as Professor of the Year in 2016, 2019 and 2022. He also holds the Ruthie Mattox Preaching Chair at First Covenant Church, Minneapolis. Osler's writing on clemency, sentencing and narcotics policy has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic and in law journals at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Georgetown, Ohio State, UNC, William and Mary, and Rutgers. He is the author of Jesus on Death Row, Prosecuting Jesus, and a casebook, Contemporary Criminal Law, which is now in its second edition.

A former federal prosecutor, he later won the case of Spears v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, with the Court ruling that judges could categorically reject the 100-to-1 ratio between crack and powder cocaine in the federal sentencing guidelines. Osler is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Yale Law School.

January 20, 2023…at Work

January 20th Recording

January 20th Agenda

Workplace and worker safety are growing concerns. Panelists at this forum will examine safety measures and training programs designed to keep where we work and who we work with safe.

Moderator: Annie Halland, MPH

Annie Halland, MPH, is UCare’s County, Tribal, and Public Health Manager and the past Policy & Advocacy Committee Co-Chair for MPHA. Throughout her 18-year career in public health, Halland has supported and advocated for individuals living in the margins – the homeless, people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and UCare’s Minnesota Health Care Program members. Halland co-chaired the MPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee for many years starting in 2012. She co-led committee activities including gathering input from MPHA members on key public health policy issues, developing an annual policy agenda, preparing materials to inform MPHA members about key public health policy issues, coordinating with other organizations to promote policy, and reviewing MPHA and APHA policy resolutions.

Panelist: Robert Servian

Robert Servian works for MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) as a Safety Consultant Principal.

OSHA Workplace Safety works with employers and employees to solve safety and health problems before they occur. It offers free on-site consultation service s, upon request, to help employers improve their safety and health record and lower accident costs. MNOSHA WSC consultants help employers recognize hazards, make recommendations for solving problems and suggest other sources of help that are available.

Robert consults mostly around construction safety and provides safety training for the construction employees often in both English and Spanish.

Panelist: Peter C. Raynor, PhD, FAIHA

Dr. Peter C. Raynor, a Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at

the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, holds a B.S. in Chemical

Engineering from Cornell University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental

Sciences & Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His

research and teaching interests revolve around the assessment and control of

environmental exposures, especially exposures to airborne particles occurring in

workplace environments. He has both long-running and new research projects related

to the measurement and management of airborne viruses. Dr. Raynor directs the

University of Minnesota Industrial Hygiene academic program and serves as Principal

Investigator for the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training. He is a

Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Panelist: Jeff Bender DVM, MS DACVPM

Dr. Jeff Bender is a Professor in the School of Public Health and an adjunct professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is currently the Director for the NIOSH funded Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center (UMASH), a Center focused on improving the health of agriculture workers and their families. His primary teaching and research interests include infection prevention, disease surveillance, emerging zoonotic diseases, occupational safety, food safety and antimicrobial resistance.

Jeff’s career has spanned a 30-year period first as a practicing veterinarian in Wisconsin and Minnesota. After obtaining a Master’s degree in epidemiology, he worked for the Minnesota Department of Health in the Acute Disease Epidemiology Unit focusing on zoonotic and foodborne outbreak investigations. He worked with the MDH surveillance team to implement routine PFGE surveillance of foodborne pathogens documenting the utility of combined epidemiologic and laboratory molecular methods. When Dr. Bender moved to the University of Minnesota, he continued his close collaboration with Industry, State and Federal Agencies. This included human-animal interface studies through the Centers for Excellence Influenza Research and Surveillance and CDC funded Influenza Cooperative agreements studying viral transmission between poultry, pigs, and humans. In addition, he served as the Director for the USAID funded One Health Workforce Project, a workforce development program focused on preventing, detecting, and responding to emerging pandemic threats. During this time, he has had the privilege to work with a number of exceptional students, residents, and faculty.

October 28, 2022…at Home

October 28th Recording

October 28th Agenda

Our homes are havens but keeping them that way is no accident. Our panelists will explore the world of policymaking, safety codes, and more to making living in our homes safe.

Moderator: Kenneth Bence, MHA, MBA, Past MPHA President 

Kenneth Bence is the Director of Research, Analysis and Policy for the Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota (ARRM), a non-profit association of nearly 200 providers, businesses and advocates dedicated to leading the advancement of home and community-based services supporting people living with disabilities. In this role, he is responsible for creating and maintaining data systems that support ARRM’s legislative agenda and advocacy efforts on behalf of its members. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare and related sectors, he has worked with managed care organizations, state and local public health departments, coalitions, community health improvement partnerships, and non-profit foundations. He has served on several Boards of Directors for non-profit organizations, and is a past president of the Minnesota Public Health Association. Finally, with over 20 years as a paid-on-call firefighter and current Battalion Chief with the Golden Valley Fire Department, he brings a unique public safety perspective to his work.

Panelist: Lisa Smestad

Lisa Smestad has worked for the Minneapolis Health Department for over 25 years and is currently the manager of the Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes unit. She has run multiple Federal grants for lead hazards, healthy homes and asthma and participated in several research projects on asthma.

Panelist: Dawn Simonson

Dawn Simonson has more than 20 years of experience in the field of aging, healthcare and advocacy, Dawn is recognized for her leadership as an innovator and collaborator. She is the current chair of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging and is past president of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, currently serving on their Mission Forward Committee. Dawn has a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. She was named one of the 100 most influential healthcare leaders in 2020 by Minnesota Physician magazine.

Panelist: Amanda Swenson

Amanda Swenson has been a part of the Minnesota fire service for the past 13 years as both a volunteer firefighter and in her current role as Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal. She is dedicated to prevention and safety education to keep Minnesotans safer from fire. She has a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. When not at work, she enjoys life on the farm with her husband and two Dalmatians.

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