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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. 

Minnesota Public Health Association Awards

Congratulations to the 2024 Award Recipients!

The MPHA 2024 Awards were presented at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards ceremony on June 25, 2024. Congratulations to all of our award winners! 

Albert Justus Chesley Award: Ellen Saliares

Paul and Sheila Wellstone Public Health Achievement AwardChera Sevcik

Laura Waterman Wittstock Racial Justice and Health Equity Award: Kris Rhodes

B. Robert Lewis AwardRep. Alicia 'Liish' KozlowskiOjibwe name Ozaawaa Anakwad, or "Yellow Cloud"

Harvey G. Rogers Environmental Health Leadership Award: Jessica Nelson

Dr. Harold “Hal” Leppink Scholarship: Taylour Blakeman

Student Achievement Award: Bilsuma Adema

Read the press release here.


The MPHA awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge the commitment and contributions of public health colleagues. Please consider submitting nominations for any or all of the awards throughout the year.  

Questions? Please email MPHA Leadership Committee.


MPHA has established a number of awards to recognize individuals for contributions to and accomplishments in public health.  Nominations are solicited annually by the Leadership Committee and the awards are announced at the annual meeting.  The awards are:

  • The Albert Justus Chesley Award honors an individual who has “distinguished themselves in the field of public health and who (have), through (their) membership, made a definite contribution to the Minnesota Public Health Association.”
  • The B. Robert Lewis Award is presented to "an Elected Official who has distinguished themselves in aggressive pursuit to establish and maintain health as a human right and to secure optimal community and personal health."
  • The Laura Waterman Wittstock Racial Justice & Health Equity Award honors "a person or team who has demonstrated their commitment to advancing racial justice and health equity for American Indian, African American/Black, Latinx/Chicano Latino/Latino(a), Asian American, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities as well as individuals that are low-income, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and those with disabilities."
  • The Paul and Sheila Wellstone Public Health Achievement Award honors “an individual who has distinguished themselves in public health through an outstanding contribution… to promote and protect the health of individuals, families and the community… (and) leadership as demonstrated by the impact of on other’s careers or having made a contribution that reflects innovation, creativity or a courageous pioneering effort consistent with professional excellence and public service.”
  • MPHA Student Achievement Award is presented to "a student enrolled in a master’s degree program at a Minnesota School of Public Health or a student enrolled in a master’s degree program at a Minnesota School of Nursing with a concentration in public health who has demonstrated leadership skills in the contribution to the promotion of the health of individuals, families and the community."

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