Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) presented the 2020 MPHA Awards during the group’s Annual Business Meeting on July 21, 2020. The MPHA awards are presented each year to leaders across Minnesota who are passionate advocates for public health and greater health equity.
The B. Robert Lewis Award, which honors an elected official who has championed public health, was presented to Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor. Lt. Gov. Flanagan has repeatedly distinguished herself as she pursues health equity for children, families, communities of color, American Indians, LGBTQ+ people and low-income and working people in Minnesota.
CoCo Villaluz, associate director of health equity programs for ClearWay Minnesota, was presented with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Public Health Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to public health. With more than 20 years’ experience in promoting health equity, Villaluz’s demeanor and talents have contributed to a strong, vibrant, and successful tobacco control movement in Minnesota’s Indian Country.
This year’s recipient of the Harvey G. Rogers Environmental Health Leadership Award was Helen Goeden, Ph.D., epidemiologist for the Minnesota Department of Health. Goeden has set herself apart as an advocate for environmental health, advancing the field of toxicology and risk assessment in Minnesota, most notably related to the protection of infants and children from drinking water contaminants.
The Albert Justus Chesley Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to MPHA, was presented to MPHA’s policy forum organizers - Angeline Carlson, Ph.D., Lindsey Fabian, MPH, Jean Streetar, MS, CHES®, and Lia Burg, MS, CHES®. Thanks to their tireless efforts over the past nine years, MPHA’s quarterly forums continue to build excitement around important public health topics and increase MPHA’s visibility.
Winnie Lindstrom, Ph.D. candidate for epidemiology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, was the recipient of this year’s Student Achievement Award. Lindstrom is currently a student intern for the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders group at the University of Minnesota and continues to prove herself to be a rising leader in the world of public health.
“It is always exciting to honor Minnesota public health leaders who work tirelessly to advance health equity and improve the health of our communities,” said Ann Zukoski, DrPH, MPH, MPHA leadership committee co-chair. “These awards provide an opportunity to recognize people who have made great contributions to our state in the fields of environmental health, legislative policy and equity, and also to honor students who are future leaders."
The awards, which would typically be presented in-person at the Annual Business Meeting, were announced over a video call. Those interested in learning more about MPHA’s awards and the nomination requirements, can find more information here.
MPHA represents over 350 public health professionals from a range of organizations across the state including government, non-profit and for-profit businesses. For more information on MPHA, please visit the Minnesota Public Health Association website.
About the Minnesota Public Health Association
The Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) represents over 350 public health professionals across the state of Minnesota who champion the health of our people and communities. The mission of the MPHA is to create a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. For more information, visit www.mpha.net, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.