About Us


Improving Together

We are proudly funded by the Minnesota Department of Health Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant. SHIP was launched in 2008 as part of Minnesota’s bipartisan health reform effort. The Minnesota Legislature must renew the funding biannually and MDH awards grants to counties and cities across Minnesota.

Local communities decide how to focus their efforts to prevent chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Those efforts are coordinated by SHIP staff who live in the communities they serve and informed by Community Leadership Teams who provide guidance and oversight in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating activities.

Two women, one in a yellow jacket and the other in a orange hat, bending down to pick a tomato from their garden.


The Northeast chapter of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) is built on a team of dedicated public health professionals that center community voice to promote healthy choices in the Northeast region.

Community Health Board

Taylour Blakeman

Regional SHIP Coordinator

Jenna Olson

Public Health Communications Coordinator

Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board

Stephany Medina

Program Manager & Public Health Planner

Stacie Blair-Nelson

Program Assistant

Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board

Susan Michels


Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board

County coordinators

Hannah Colby

Public Health Educator

Aitkin County Health and Human Services

Kristina Mattson

SHIP Coordinator

Cook County Public Health

Emily Morrison

Public Health Educator

Carlton County Public Health and Human Services

Jayme Gabler

Public Health Educator

Itasca County Public Health

Linnea Imhof

SHIP Coordinator

Koochiching County Public Health

LaReesa Sandretsky

Community Health Educator

Lake County Public Health

Josh Gorham

Program Coordinator

St. Louis County Public Health

Partner Coordinators

Andrea Crouse

Community Development Manager

Zeitgeist (St. Louis County SHIP)

Adam Kurowski

Community and Energy Projects Manager


Gavin Bukovich

Associate Planner

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission

Kristina Mattson

Regional Lactation Coordinator

Samantha Martin

Public Health Educator (Tribal SHIP & Tobacco Coordinator)

Fond du Lac Public Health

Rachel Thapa

Full Service Community School Coordinator

Duluth Schools Collaborative

Get Involved

Community Leadership Team

The purpose of the Northeast Regional Community Leadership Team (RCLT) is to collaborate and align resources to address health inequities and create collective positive impact on the health and well-being of NE MN residents. The role of the RCLT is to provide guidance and oversight in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating activities, under the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) in the region.

The Northeast Regional Leadership Team will:

  • Develop shared goals and values among the members that reflect local priorities in each of the 7 counties of the Healthy Northland region.
  • Be connected to SHIP staff and projects across the region and state.
  • Review community health assessments and community health needs assessments to align efforts, measurement, and outcomes.
  • Collaborate, alignment of resources, and work towards collective impact.
  • Support SHIP Statewide Activity and locally led evaluations.
  • Meet 4 times per year (primarily virtually).

The Northeast Regional Leadership team will unite around five core roles of the Community Leadership Teams:

  • Advisor/Decision Maker
  • Connector/Networking
  • Articulator of a shared and inspiring vision
  • Advocate
  • Hold the effort accountable to the shared goals and values

Volunteer Today!

A long line of people biking at an event with the first women waving to the person behind the camera.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
A group of adults with a child smiling over fruit being served at school for Farm to School day in Atkin county.