As the advocacy team at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, it’s our job to bring health home through active community engagement and strong public policy advocacy. Our work is founded in Out-Teaman understanding that health is largely driven by factors outside of clinical care, a respect for community knowledge and a belief that every child deserves to be healthy and well. As a result, we work hard to influence federal, state and local public policy decisions and building relationships with organizations and people who share an interest in supporting children and families.
How you can help
You don’t have to work at Children’s to help us advocate for Children’s, patients and families. Learn how you can be a voice for children.
Meet our team
Take a minute to get to know the members of our team (listed in alphabetical order).
Jessica Block, Senior Administrative Assistant
Jessica joined Children’s in the spring of 2014. She graduated from Winona State University with a degree in early childhood and elementary education. After working as a substitute teacher, she spent two years as an executive legal assistant at a law firm in downtown Minneapolis. Jessica decided to join the Children’s team because she felt the position united her desire to advocate for children and her skill set as an assistant. Jessica’s interests outside of work include traveling (16 countries, 18 states, and counting), scrapbooking and cooking. She loves spending her free time with her husband, dog, friends and family.
Katie Rojas-Jahn, Community Engagement Manager
Katie Rojas-Jahn joined Children’s in the fall of 2012, where she works to improve child health through community partnerships. She also leads Children’s community health needs assessment and community benefit tracking. Driven by a commitment to social justice, racial equity and engagement, Katie believes in the power of people in community to create transformative change in support of health. Before coming to Children’s, Katie worked for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Centro Campesino. She completed her B.A. at the University of Minnesota in Chicano Studies and Spanish Studies. In her spare time, Katie enjoys literature, learning how to quilt and spending time with her family and friends.
Lisa Skjefte, American Indian Community Liaison
Lisa began working at Children’s in the fall of 2014. In her current role, she works with the Advocacy and Health Policy and Social Work teams to connect patient experience and community voice back to Children’s. Lisa has helped launch an initiative called The First Gift, a space for American Indian community members to come together to make baby moccasins to give back to American Indian families whose babies are in the Special Care Nursery and NICU units.
Lisa is a citizen of the Red Lake Nation of Ojibwe. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Lisa is also a co-founder of an Indigenous Women’s Wellness movement called KWESTRONG, Kwe, pronounced “qway” in the Ojibwe language, means woman. KWESTRONG organizes an American Indian Women and girls triathlon, Run Bike Canoe, each year on the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis.
Kelly Wolfe, Public Policy Director
Kelly leads the organization’s government relations and policy advocacy work that advances Children’s mission and vision. She oversees state and federal public policy issues ranging from Medicaid funding, hospital operations, and children’s health and development.
Prior to joining Children’s in 2012, she was the director of government relations at the Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm. During her five years there, she represented health and social service non-profits, economic development organizations, and education clients at the Capitol. She provided strategic and political counsel in addition to building coalitions and relationships with key legislative and agency stakeholders. In addition, she served two years as a senate staffer and as a leadership assistant to the Minnesota State Senate Majority Leader.
When she is not storming the halls of the Capitol, Kelly can be found spending time with her family and watching SEC football (Roll Tide!). Originally from Alabama, she relishes in the warm Minnesota summers and loves exploring the beautiful scenery of Minnesota. She has a little boy who keeps her on her toes and makes her laugh daily and a baby girl who consumes the other half of her heart.
Kelly received her Master of Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute in 2004 and her B.A. in English from the University of Alabama.
Anna Youngerman, Senior Director of Advocacy and Health Policy
Anna provides strategic guidance and oversight to the Advocacy team and Children’s leadership on public policy, community engagement and health equity issues. Anna works to keep the policy and community work well connected to the rest of Children’s through active collaboration with internal partners and relevant, meaningful engagement with external organizations.
Prior to joining the Children’s team in 2011, Anna was a director at Himle Horner Inc., one of the Twin Cities region’s leading public affairs and public relations agencies. Anna’s early career included several different positions in Minnesota’s political arena and a stint as a legislative assistant in the KARE 11 capitol bureau.
Just to make sure things don’t slow down after work, Anna and her husband stay busy with with a young son and daughter — playing ball, acting out scenes from movies and telling stories. Anna also tries to find time to enjoy the simple pleasures: good food, engaging books, the great outdoors and lots of laughs.
Anna earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Lake Forest College in Illinois.