Children's Minnesota in the News

The Kid Experts join the Accelerating Health Equity Conference

Kid experts from Children’s Minnesota shared their health equity experience during the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Accelerating Health Equity Conference, held in Minneapolis May 16-18.

James Burroughs, senior vice president, government and community relations, chief equity and inclusion officer, participated in a Pioneers Panel hosted by the AHA’S Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE). The panel featured leaders, like James, who have played a critical role in advancing health equity. James joined Peggy Harris from Atrium Health, Bukata Hayes from Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, Andres Gonzalez from Froedtert Health and Alex Tittle from Medica.

Left to right: Leon Caldwell, AHA; Andres Gonzalez, Froedtert Health; James Burroughs, Children's Minnesota.
Left to right: Mesa Siebert, Second Harvest Heartland; Adriene Thornton; Lauren Gilchrist, Zuzi Velazquez, Sarah Peterson, Second Harvest Heartland.

In addition, Children’s Minnesota hosted a Community Immersion Experience, offering conference attendees the chance to visit Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest and most innovative hunger-relief organizations in the nation. During the field trip, participants learned about Second Harvest Heartland’s mission and Children’s Minnesota’s health equity and community partnership strategies from Lauren Gilchrist, senior director of the Collective for Community Health, Adriene Thornton, manager of health equity and Zuzi Velazquez, supervisor of Community Connect. The trio explained how our Community Connect program partners with Second Harvest Heartland to address families’ health-related social needs by connecting them to existing community resources, including SNAP enrollment and culturally specific food support. Participants also heard how Children’s Minnesota and Second Harvest Heartland have advocated for free school meals for all Minnesota students – which Gov. Tim Walz signed into law this legislative session.

Children's Minnesota Community Immersion Experience at Second Harvest Heartland.
Nick Petersen