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PHS Monday Seminar: Jeanne Ayers, RN, MPH- “A Systems Approach to Advancing Health Equity- The Key to a Healthy Wisconsin”
March 15, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Jeanne Ayers, R.N. MPH, Senior Advisor of VoteSAFE Public Health a coalition of 10 public health organizations
Previously served as the Wisconsin State Health Officer and Administrator of the Division of Public Health and Assistant Commissioner and Chief Health Equity Strategist for the Minnesota Department of Health.
Introduce a systems approach to identify and shift patterns of health inequities.
Introduce three key practices designed to build our collective power to advance health equity
- Organize narrative, data, knowledge
- Organize policy, processes, resources, funding
- Organize and strengthen community capacity
Jeanne Ayers, R.N. MPH, serves as Senior Advisor of VoteSAFE Public Health a coalition of 10 public health organizations committed to assuring participation in the electoral process is available to everyone. Before joining VoteSAFE Public Health in August 2020, Ayers held leadership roles in state governmental public health for over 9 years. She was the Wisconsin State Health Officer and Administrator of the Division of Public Health and earlier served as Assistant Commissioner and Chief Health Equity Strategist for the Minnesota Department of Health. Prior positions include director of nursing and preventive services and occupational health at the University of Minnesota, Boynton Health Service. She worked in professional continuing education for 15 years and founded and directed the Centers for Public Health Education and Outreach at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.
Jeanne has long been a recognized leader in national efforts to assure health and racial equity and improve population health. She was selected as the 2010 University of Minnesota Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award winner for her work on health and racial equity and was responsible for development of the Minnesota Department of Health, award-winning report “Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota: A report to the State Legislature”. Jeanne has worked extensively with government, academia, health care, community groups and broad-based community organizers to deepen the public understanding of the social determinants of health and their relationship to race, place, class and power. Jeanne led the health equity work of the faith-based organizing group, ISAIAH, and launched and directed the Healthy Heartland Initiative, a partnership of community organizing groups and public health organizations in five Midwest states building collective capacity to impact public policy.
Jeanne describes her work as building power to assure the conditions necessary for health are available for all. She sees civic participation and a healthy inclusive democracy as a prerequisite to advancing health equity and creating healthy communities