Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota launches Collective for Community Health and appoints Lauren Gilchrist as its senior director

The Collective will focus on partnerships to improve community health and advance equity

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (May 11, 2022) – Children’s Minnesota is pleased to announce the formation of the Collective for Community Health, which will focus on improving the health of patients by strengthening partnerships in the communities where they live. Recognizing that 80% of health is determined by the conditions where people are born, live, learn, work and play, the Collective is essential to Children’s Minnesota’s vision is to be every family’s essential partner in raising healthier children — not only during illnesses or injuries, but throughout childhood. It will aim to improve social determinants of health, address structural racism in health care and eliminate health disparities.

The Collective will expand and deepen the organization’s existing community partnerships, working to co-create innovative solutions and leverage resources that improve the health of communities. The Collective will:

  • Provide a central entry point for partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors to collaborate with Children’s Minnesota’s clinical care, research, education, policy, community health and advocacy efforts.
  • Expand the organization’s support for social determinants of health, including connecting more patients and families to resources that address food insecurity, housing, legal and other social needs.
  • Engage partners via a new advisory council that will bring together community representatives across sectors with leaders from Children’s Minnesota to guide its long-term work.

James Burroughs, who was recently promoted to senior vice president, government and community relations, chief equity and inclusion officer, will lead the Collective. Children’s Minnesota has also appointed Lauren Gilchrist as the Collective’s new senior director. Gilchrist most recently served as executive vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood North Central States. She also held key leadership roles in the public sector, including in the offices of former Governor Mark Dayton, former U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

“This is a pivotal time for Children’s Minnesota as we look towards the future and envision how we can use our collective voice as the kid experts to make a bigger impact in the health and wellbeing of kids in Minnesota, the region and nationally,” said Burroughs. “I’m excited for this new era and for Lauren’s leadership in this work.”

James Burroughs
James Burroughs, senior vice president, government and community relations, chief equity and inclusion officer
Lauren Gilchrist
Lauren Gilchrist, senior director of the Collective for Community Health

“The mission of Children’s Minnesota is close to my heart and I’m thrilled to be joining the organization in this new role. I look forward to connecting across our communities as we continue to grow Children’s Minnesota’s commitment to equity and social determinants of health,” said Gilchrist. “Working in partnership with local leaders, policymakers and health care experts, we have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of kids and families.”

About Children’s Minnesota

Children’s Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s Minnesota is one system serving kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, nine primary care clinics, multiple specialty clinics and seven rehabilitation sites. As The Kids ExpertsTM in our region, Children’s Minnesota is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital.

Find us on Facebook @childrensminnesota or on Twitter and Instagram @childrensmn. Please visit childrensMN.org.

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