Home   •  About   •   Speakers   •   Agenda  •  Materials

Healthiest State Agenda Setting Convening
October 31-November 1, 2017



Jeanne F. Ayers, RN. MPH 
Chief Heath Equity Strategist and Assistant Commissioner 
Minnesota Health Department


Jeanne F. Ayers, RN. MPH serves as Chief Health Equity Strategist and Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH is the state's lead public health agency. Appointed in 2011, Ayers is responsible for the Health Improvement Bureau. She led development of the “Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota: A report to the State Legislature”, and establishment of the Center for Health Equity and the role of American Indian Health Director. Prior positions include director of nursing and preventive services at the University of Minnesota, Boynton Health Service and executive director of the Centers for Public Health Education and Outreach at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. Ayers’ community activities include working with broad-based community organizers to deepen the public understanding of health, the social determinants of health and their relationship to race, place and class. Ayers served as the chief architect of ISAIAH’s health equity and healthy communities work. She launched and directed the Healthy Heartland Initiative a partnership of community organizations in five Midwestern states working with public health to build organizing capacity to affect public policy to advance health equity. 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. Ayers earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Jonathan Heller
Co-Director and Co-Founder
Human Impact Partners

Under Jonathan's leadership, Human Impact Partners has become a national leader on research, advocacy, and capacity building focused on changing policies related to the social determinants of health, with a strong reputation for its commitment to equity and community empowerment. Since co-founding HIP, Jonathan has used a public health lens to advance policy change in criminal justice, economic security, education, immigration, housing and transportation. He provides training and technical assistance on Health Impact Assessment and Health in All Policies, and supports public health departments to develop leadership and capacity to advance health equity. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and doctorate from University of California, Berkeley, and he served in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea. Jonathan recently served as President of the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA) and serves on the Board of the Center for Community Change.