2024 Health Summit Presenters

We are continuously adding presenters for the 2024 Health Summit - please watch this site for updates!

Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson

keynote SPEAKER: Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson 

Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson is a national thought leader regarding the intersections of social justice, criminal justice, and mental health. Dr. Vinson is a triple board certified physician who specializes in adult, child & adolescent, and forensic psychiatry and is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and the Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). In addition to maintaining active clinic practice where she sees a socioeconomically diverse clientele, she is the founder of Lorio Forensics, an MBE certified multidisciplinary culturally and structurally informed forensic mental health consultation company.  She has consulted on cases in over a dozen states and testified and been admitted as an expert in state, federal, criminal and family courts. Additionally, she has been a clinical care provider on an ACT team as well as in juvenile and adult correctional facilities.

Annie FrisoliFEATURED SPEAKER: Annie Frisoli

Annie Frisoli, Founder & CEO of Creating Community LLC is an international facilitator and presenter who has led numerous discussions on topics related to leadership, culture, community, and innovation. Annie is a former university faculty member of nearly 20 years within parks and recreation management and now finds great passion as a consultant working alongside Boards, university departments, cities, and organizations to develop thriving work cultures. However, some of Annie’s most prized titles include wife, daughter, sibling, best friend, hiker, biker, and 1st international ambassador of the Canadian Hi-5 run. 

Be the Standard of Community Wellbeing

Building community wellbeing is no easy feat, as often we operate in our professional silos unclear of how we are all universally connected to serve others. We need individuals within the varying health and wellness systems to come together to not only create a standard of community wellbeing, but rather be THE standard of community wellbeing. As we develop the future leaders in health and wellness, let us not forget the foundation of our studies, the humans we serve who make up a community. Let’s challenge the standard of what healthcare means for the communities we serve and focus on the great impact WE CAN MAKE TOGETHER to create happy, healthy, thriving communities.

Brad SchipperLunCH SPEAKER: Brad Schipper & Macy Schipper

Brad Schipper brings more than 25 years of experience in health care administration and operations. He received a master's in health care administration from the University of Minnesota and is a LEAN/Six Sigma facilitator. Brad currently serves as the System Chief Operating Officer for Logan Health/Billings Clinic — two Montana health systems that united as one last fall — and also has executive leadership experience and expertise in non-health care industries. In his previous leadership roles, he has served as president, chief executive officer, executive vice president, chief operating officer, vice president, executive director, director, administration fellow, and intern. Brad is a proven leader and understands the importance that communication, courage, and consistency play in achieving sustainable results. He has been asked to speak at multiple organizations and events to share his professional wisdom and experience. While Brad has found his career in health care to be very fulfilling, his greatest achievement and pride comes from being the father of two amazing daughters — Macy and Ella.

Macy SchipperMacy Schipper is a sophomore in pre-professional program for Occupational Therapy program as Exercise Science Program. Macy’s professional goals are to become an Occupational Therapist in an out-patient pediatric clinic. Macy is in the pre-Occupational Therapy Club and Exercise is Medicine club. Macy works in the Rec n’ Read program and is on the Health Summit Advisory board.

Cultivating connectivity – weaving relationships, wellness, and happiness through every day life.

Discussion centered around the personal and professional intersection of wellness, happiness and the power of relationships. We will explore the personal, professional and environmental factors impacting how we value the importance of time, money, health, and control.

Andrew Burk

Featured Speaker: Andrew Burk

The Mankato Family YMCA provides programs and services that focus on building healthy minds, bodies, and social well-being. Through advocacy and strategic partnerships, community organizations like the YMCA provide opportunities for all. Community connections among the public and private sectors connected with healthcare are essential. Nonprofits like the YMCA and the services they provide are critical to community's financial and physical wellbeing.

Nonprofits: A critical partner in Community Healthcare

Andrew Burk is the Executive Director of the YMCA. Burk has been the Property & Safety Manager for the Mankato Family YMCA for the past two years. Additionally, he has recently taken on a leadership role with Youth Sports & Recreation. Burk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois and a Master of Arts in Sports Management from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Burk's previous non-profit experience comes from serving as Executive Director of the Blue Earth Nicollet County Human Society.

Breakout Speakers

Sonika Masih

Sonika Masih

Dr. Sonika Masih, BDS, MS, is an assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota. She has been in the dental field since 1999 in India and the United States. Dr. Sonika Masih is currently licensed as a faculty dentist and dental hygienist.  

Incorporating Advanced Dental Therapists in School Settings: Shaping the future of healthcare

Incorporating advanced dental therapists in school settings can significantly affect community well-being and shape the future of healthcare. It can lead to collaboration between healthcare professionals in schools leading to improved access to care and reducing disparities. Engaging in community outreach and raising awareness about the importance of oral health to overall health early in life will lead to overall health in the community. This can serve as a model in future for more multidisciplinary approaches towards care of overall health. Collaboration between nurses and dental services provider facilitates a holistic approach to health.

Brigette Cooper

Brigette Cooper, Trisha Krenik-Matejcek & Erin Westfell

Brigette Cooper, MS, RDH, is chair and professor in the Department of Dental Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has been teaching a variety of dental hygiene courses and involved in community outreach activities for 30 years.

a person wearing glasses and a blue blouseErin Westfall

Trisha Krenik-Matejcek, RDH, MS, is a professor in the Department of Dental Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  She teaches in a variety of didactic, lab and clinical courses.  She has over 25 years of clinical dental hygiene experience.

Dr. Erin Westfall is the Program Director for the Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency in Mankato. Her research interests are around issues of health equity and healthcare access and how community partnerships and including a community voice in research interventions helps to address health inequities in the Mankato area.   

Addressing Oral Health Disparities Through Integrated Care

Dental disease is the most prevalent unmet health need in the United States. Oral infections, which are nearly 100% preventable, are associated with a multitude of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.  However, oral health care access for our highest risk and often most vulnerable populations is an area of concern. The current healthcare system does not reach the populations with the highest burden of disease. This prevention gap may be addressed by engaging primary care teams in the fight against disease because primary care clinicians have frequent contact with high risk and vulnerable groups, and are well versed in disease prevention and screening.  Integrated care is a well-known means to improve health outcomes, access to care, and lower overall health care costs.  By bringing dental teams into the primary care health home, teams can work collaboratively to address this prevention gap, and patients can move seamlessly between medical and dental teams depending on their needs.

Christi WilkingChristi Wilking, Brandon Fjerstad & Gretchen Mauerman

Christi Wilking is a Community Relations Officer with Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Minnesota.  She works with stakeholders to build strategic partnerships, enhance employee volunteerism, lead our community health needs assessment process and facilitate charitable contributions that enhance the health and wellness of our communities. Christi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.Brandon Fjerstad

Brandon Fjerstad is an Account Director at findhelp, the nation's largest social care network and closed loop referral platform. His focus is on national health system SDoH strategy, and leverages his past experience as a leader in hospital operations, community, and population health to effectively scale solutions and connect all people seeking help and the programs that serve them — with dignity and ease.

Gretchen MauermanGretchen Mauerman has been the health equity coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System since March 2022. In that position, she has piloted the development of a unique care team role that serves as a bridge between the clinical setting and the wider community, working to ensure that the social needs of patients are supported. Prior to her role at MCHS, Gretchen worked for many years in local public health on chronic disease prevention, emergency preparedness, and health equity.  

Unlocking Potential: Utilizing Technology to Solve for Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) like housing, food access, and transportation significantly impact health outcomes, often creating disparities. Join findhelp and Mayo Clinic Health System as we explore how technology can be a powerful tool in addressing these challenges.

How SDOH screening and intervention tools empower healthcare professionals to connect patients with critical community resources, improving patient outcomes and overall well-being.
How findhelp’s platform allows seamless self-referral and resource navigation for community members, promoting self-advocacy and empowerment.

Real-world success stories showcasing the transformative impact of technology on SDOH interventions.

Together, we can leverage the power of technology to bridge the gaps, create a more equitable healthcare system, and empower individuals to achieve better health.

Kim Kleven

Kim Kleven, Heather Von Bank, & Hannah Adams

Kim Kleven has been an Early Childhood Educator for 30 plus years.  Graduating from M.S.U. with a Family Life Child Development Major and an Early Childhood Minor, she was an educator with the Mankato Public Schools (1991-2002) and Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School District (2002-2021).  After serving as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors for the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota, Kim joined the staff there as the Vice President of Play and Learning in 2021. She was a trainer for the MN. Centers of Excellence, Coach for MN. Reading Corps, has served on a number of local and statewide boards and presented numerous workshops.

Heather Von BankDr. Heather Von Bank is a Professor in the Department of Family Consumer Science at Minnesota State University-Mankato.  She teaches courses in Child Development and Family Studies. She has presented about the power of play to support children’s development at regional, state, national and international conferences and workshops.

Hannah graduated with her Bachelors of Science in May of 2023 from Minnesota State University - Mankato at age 20. Hannah has worked in healthcare a person smiling at the camerasince age 16 and is now a Life Enrichment Director at Mankato Lodge Senior Living. She majored in child development and plans to continue her education for Occupational Therapy. Hannah has collaborated with Dr. Heather Von Bank on a research project about the importance of recess for middle schoolers and was given an outstanding presenter award for MSU Research Symposium. Hannah and Dr. Von Bank are also scheduled to present their research at the National Play Coalition in April.

Empowering Connections: Unleashing the Power of Play in Our Community

This presentation will explore what happens to a community when we spend more time together in nature, less time staring at screens, and find ways to keep our bodies active across different stages of life. Envisioning a future of social-emotional well-being for youth and adults must include opportunities for them to get outside and connect with nature and find connection between people of other generations.  This session will engage your senses and memories as we explore how playful interactions can create a sense or connection in our community.

Jenny Stratton

Jenny Stratton

Jenny Stratton currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Mankato Area United Way's Connecting Kids Program. She has a Masters in Business Administration; Educational Leadership Specialist Degree; and in her final year for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Case Study Presentation: Connecting Kids Program & the impact this has on health (SEL) & social connections for area youth

Connecting Kids Program currently serves over 500 unduplicated low-income youth from a four-county area. This program is designed to reduce the financial barriers to being involved in an out-of-school activity of choice. Activities all include some level of positive impact to health (SEL) and social connections.

Glenda Becthold

Glenda Becthold, LSW & Jen Wunderlich

Glenda Becthold graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a BSSW and Nonprofit Leadership Certificate. She worked many years in county social services. She also has social work experience in a rural healthcare setting. She has been part of VINE’s Age Well At Home Team for over 3 years.

Jen WunderlichJen Wunderlich graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a M.S. in Exercise Physiology. She works to promote physical activity for everyone, especially for individuals who have chronic health conditions. She has been in this field for twenty years and has been at VINE for over ten years.

Supporting Comprehensive Wellness for Healthy Aging

VINE is redefining aging & promoting the wellbeing of aging adults through programming, services & community engagement. Learn how VINE encourages older adults to thrive and reach their full potential.

Carrie Reif

Carrie Reif & Kim Sommers

Dr. Carrie Reif is a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato Counseling Center. As a licensed psychologist, she provides mental health services to students, including individual and group counseling. She enjoys building strong therapeutic relationships and providing a safe space for clients to share and work towards goals.

Kim SommersDr. Kim Sommers is a licensed psychologist, providing mental health services to college students and in the community. Her work focuses on individual group therapy, feminist theory, and working with underrepresented populations.

Building Connections through Group Therapy

Group therapy is a powerful intervention for improving mental health and working towards strong social connections. Building relationships and rapport are foundational for many clinical therapy services to promote well-being and positive mental health. Providing education and increasing understanding of mental health services can help decrease stigma and build communities that support and encourage others to share and seek support. The Minnesota State University, Mankato Counseling Center provides group therapy as a service to students that helps facilitate social interaction, connection, self-awareness, and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. As students participate in group therapy, they often express surprise and relief that they are “not the only one” who struggles with a variety of concerns. This breakout session will discuss the benefits of group therapy, address and debunk common myths about group therapy, and provide tips for effective referrals to group therapy and other mental health resources.