Previous Health and Biomedical Sciences Events

Spring 2023
"Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity"

This year's event focused on health inequities, particularly in rural areas where access to care and resources is limited. Discussions focused on how health inequities are compounded for individuals across the lifespan who experience racial and other social injustices, with inequities further exacerbated by a lack of health care professionals who share their identities and lived experiences. Attendees participated in conversations about what health equity should look like in our region. The Summit aimed to uncover barriers and identify opportunities for individual and collective action that will put us on the pathway to health equity.


Keynote speaker: Dr. Mary Owen, Associate Dean of Native American Health, Center of American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota 

Lighting Round Presenters: Matt Conetta, Open Door Health Center; Nita Kumar, Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota; Shelley Mann, Swipe Out Hunger; Dr. Erin Westfall, Mayo Clinic Health System; Dr. Misty Wilkie, University of Minnesota.

Spring 2022
"Mental Health is Health"

This conference examined global mental health and well-being. Attendees heard about the latest practices, research, and strategies from local and international experts around improving the mental health of our communities. The event provided students, educators, community organizations and practitioners with insights and examples that aim to work together around this urgent issue.

Keynote speakers: Johann Hari, Dr. Abigail Gewirtz

Lighting Round Presenters: Sue Abderholden, NAMI-MN; State Representative Luke Frederick; Debbie Fuehrer, Mayo Clinic; Brandon Jones, Minnesota Association for Childrne's Mental Health; Bethany Kroesing, Open Door; Darlene Wetterstrom, MN-ANG.

Spring 2021
"Creating Health Equity: Social Justice & The Social Determinants of Health"

This virtual conference examined the Social Determinants of Health—economy, education, health care, neighborhoods, and quality of life—through a social justice lens. Following a live keynote address by Yusef Salaam, moderated by Angela Davis of Minnesota Public Radio, experts representing each of the social determinants shared their unique views on opportunities for healthy communities and health equity in 2021 and beyond.   

With a mix of live and on-demand content, the presenters at this conference provided students, educators, community organizations and practitioners with insights and information that can be applied in closing the health equity gap.

Fall 2020
"Pandemic Perspectives:
A Unified Approach From Diverse Voices"

Thanks to everyone who made the Fall 2020 webinar possible! Special thanks to our presenters and panelists:

  • Brett Anderson, SVP, Chief Ecosystem & Operations Officer, Ecumen
  • Rodolfo Gutierrez, Executive Director, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment Through Research (HACER)
  • Mohamed Ibrahim, Community Healthcare Specialist, Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Natasha Lopez-Rodriguez, Executive Director, Mankato YWCA
  • John O'Horo, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist, Mayo Clinic
  • Paul Peterson, Superintendent, Mankato Area Public Schools
  • Sheri Sander-Silva, Executive Director, Feeding our Communities Partners (FOCP)
  • Kathy Sheran, former Minnesota state Senator

Mankato Free Press coverage

The webinar is available for viewing here: 

Spring 2019
"The Future of Healthcare: Talent, Expansion, Innovation"

Topics from the March, 2019 Summit included:

  • “The Story of New Ulm: A Pursuit of Health Transformation.”
  • “Osteopathic Medicine—Past, Present, Future.”
  • “Experiencing Health Care Treatments of Rare Cancers.”
  • “Global Health Care Access and the Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Innovation, Collaboration, and Courage.”

Mankato Free Press coverage

Spring 2018
"Building a Healthy Community: Innovation Through Partnerships"

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Colleges of Allied Health & Nursing and Science, Engineering & Technology held a day-long Health & Biomedical Sciences Summit in March, 2018 at Minnesota State Mankato that addressed how partnerships can help build healthier communities. Mayo Clinic Health System was the presenting sponsor.

Presenters and panelists included: 

  • Andrew Danielson, Vice Chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures
  • Dr. James Hebl, Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Ed Hedblom, 3M
  • Barb Kaus, Greater Mankato Area United Way
  • Michael Kopak, Medtronic

Breakout Sessions included: 

  • "A Second Chance: 5th Judical Veteran's Court" - Thad Shunkwiler and Curtis Shotliff
  • "Camp Maverick: An Interprofressional Collaboration to Improve Literacy and Wellbeing Among Youth" - Megan Mahowald and Brooke Burk
  • "Using Deep Learning in Medical Image Recognition" - Rajeev Bukralia
  • "SAFERH (Simulation, Analytics, Family Focused, Electronic Health Record) - Cyrus Azarbod and Stacey VanGeldren
  • "Technology Innovations: 3D Printing of Cobalt Chrom/Calcium Implants" - Kuldeep Agarwal and Michael Bentley
  • "Allied Health and Nursing Case Study" 
  • "The Power of Partnerships: The Minnesota River School Model" - Kim Musser, Scott Kudelka, Ben Leonard and Robyn Ceurvost
  • "Preparing Students for Data-driven Healthcare Through Health Informatics" - Sarah Kruse and Norma Krumwiede
  • "School of Nursing and Mayo: Customized Training" - Stacey VanGeldren and Danyel Germain
  • "Creating Customized Training Programs at Minnesota State University, Mankato" - Lou Dickmeyer
  • "Thyroid Hormone and Smart Phone Apps: a Parnertnership with the American Thyroid Association" - David Sharlin and Guarionex Salivia