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2023-2024 Executive Team

The Minnesota Coalition for Family Home Visiting elects Executive Committee members to serve two-year terms. The Executive Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month. 

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Ronel Robinson (she/her), Way to Grow

Ronel has been Program Director with Way to Grow Inc. since 1991. Way to Grow is a holistic program serving families and children prenatal to age eight providing an evidenced informed literacy and health curriculum building on skills for school and life success. She has a BA in Organizational Management and Communications from Concordia University with additional studies at Minnesota State at Mankato in business administration plus early childhood education and maternal and child health. 

Ronel manages the Way to Grow Dream Tracks Teen Parent Program serving teens and young moms ages 14- 24. She is a member of the Northside Achievement Zone (Early Childhood Committee), Minneapolis Healthy Start - Community Action Network, Hennepin County Teen Parent Connection, and the Minnesota Coalition of Targeted Home Visiting. She has also worked with the Minnesota Department of Education on the revisions of the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, the African American Babies Project, and Northside Breastfeeding Initiative and many other community initiatives. Ronel is the current President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers.

Ronel will support the Coalition by attending partner meetings.

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Pat Dale (he/him), at-large Community Member

Pat Dale was the CEO at Youable Emotional Health Services from 2001-2024 and holds a BSW from Eau Claire. Pat Dale is currently the Chair of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative and the chair of the Social Connectedness work group of Hennepin County CHIP Initiative.  Youable is currently operating as a contracted provider of Hennepin County. We are accredited in HFA. We have been doing HFA since Hennepin County began contracting the services. Last fall Headway began preparations to add the Family Spirit home

visiting model to specifically work with American Indian families. In addition to home visiting services, Headway provides services across the emotional health spectrum. Headway offers age 0-5 clinical services on an outpatient basis as well as providing therapeutic services to early childhood special education students in the Bloomington school district. In addition, Headway offers Children’s Mental Health Targeted Case Management.   


Pat Dale will continue supporting the MCFHV Legislative Committee. 

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Meredith O'Brien (she/her), Hennepin County Public Health 

"I want to be part of the effort to mobilize and promote increased access to home visiting services for families in Minnesota. I believe this can be achieved through collaboration across home visiting programs, partners, families, and funders. I would like to be part of the Coalition’s efforts to identify community and family strengths and needs, advocate for ways to meet the needs of communities, and support capacity building of home visiting providers and communities in supporting families with young children.

I hope to support the mission, vision and operations of the Coalition by bringing my knowledge of and experience working with home visiting programs statewide, and by representing a large local public health agency that also partners with non-profit agencies to provide home visiting services. I also have experience in early childhood system building, and see home visiting as an essential component as part of an early childhood system. I hope to contribute my knowledge of state and local early childhood efforts as they relate to home visiting to the Executive Committee."
 

Meredith will attend the Coalition’s partner meetings and communicate with MDH regional consultants.

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Paula Frisk (she/her), St. David's Center for Child & Family Development

"I bring almost 25 years of experience working with children and families with a specialty focus on attachment based dyadic parent/child relational work. My areas of interest include trauma-informed maternal, infant and early childhood mental health and early intervention and prevention.

I have in-depth of understanding in practice and administration of two evidence-based home visiting models, Healthy Families and Parent’s as Teachers as well as evidence

informed models. I have served over five years on the Metro Alliance for Healthy Families Quality Assurance team and strongly believe in the importance of best practice and advocacy for continued funding of quality home visiting services. I am also very passionate about the importance of reflective practice and reflective supervision/consultation in home visiting."


Paula will support the Coalition's Practice Matters/quality work.

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Kayla Nelson (she/her), Horizon Public Health

Kayla has been a Public Health Nurse for almost 12 years. She spent the first two years of her career working as a Family Health Nurse in Douglas County. She then had an opportunity to serve her home community of Pope County and accepted a position where she spent the next 6 years as Nurse Home Visitor with Supporting Hands Nurse-Family Partnership. Due to a retirement, Kayla had an opportunity to take a Family Health Position with Horizon Public Health out of the Pope County office as a Family

Health Nurse. Shortly after, Horizon was awarded an Evidence Based Home Visiting (EBHV) grant to implement Healthy Families America (HFA). It was at that time that Kayla was promoted to EBHV Supervisor, and now supervises Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting (MECSH) along with all of the Family Health programs at HPH.  

 

Kayla is committed to helping families in the community and giving children the best chance possible. She grew up in Starbuck, MN and continues to live in Pope County with her husband and two young children. 

 

Kayla will serve as a regional contact for the Coalition. 

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Kristin Deacon (she/her), Southwest Health & Human Services 

“While many things in this world have changed, one thing has not, children need caring, responsive, and nurturing care giving. I am a public health nursing supervisor for Southwest Health & Human Services (SWHHS) serving six counties in the southwest part of the state. I’ve been in public health and family home visiting for over 17 years. I have a passion for supporting families with young children and continue to be committed to this essential work. I sit on the steering committee for Supporting Hands Nurse Family Partnership which

provides NFP to 21 counties in the SW/SC part of Minnesota. At SWHHS, I supervise family health programs including our family home visiting program. We recently were trained in and are providing the MECSH program.  

 

In my spare time, I enjoy attending sporting events, time with family and friends, traveling and reading. I look forward to being a part of this coalition and am excited for the future of family home visiting in Minnesota.” 

 

Kristin will serve as a regional contact for the Coalition.

Shashanna Skippingday (she/her), Division of Indian Work 

Shashana Skippingday comes from a small rural community in Northern Minnesota on the White Earth Indian Reservation. She is a mother, healer, a nurse, a Community Outreach Perinatal Educator/Indigenous Doula and an Indigenous Lactation Counselor. She is committed to her community and aspires to teach families about the foundational benefits of breastfeeding. Shashana also provides leadership for local and state Indigenous breastfeeding initiatives. She has built an incredible group of Indigenous women to lead Nitamising

Gimashkikinaan-First Medicine, an Indigenous Perinatal and Lactation Support Circle. She Previously served as Secretary for the Board of the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition and is currently an At- Large Director. In her current daytime job as a Director of Programs at the Division of Indian Work, she leads the Maternal Child Health, Home Visiting and Anger Management/DV teams. She is also a co-leader for the Indigenous Breastfeeding Coalition of Minnesota. 

 

“I am interested in joining the MN Coalition for Family Home Visiting to be a voice for our relatives. I have worked with in rural and urban settings for our families, young and elderly. I can bring to the table an Indigenous lens on cultural home visiting versus a societal framework ensuring our families thrive on what is inherently our culture and traditions.” 

Jen Jaros (she/her), Early Childhood Family Education in Duluth Public Schools

Jen Jaros is the Early Childhood Family Education Coordinator for Duluth Public Schools. She is a Licensed Parent Educator and Early Childhood Teacher and has been working in districts throughout Minnesota for close to 25 years, 10 years in Duluth.  She and her husband are soon to be empty nesters with a daughter as a freshman in college and  her son is a senior in high school.  

Jen is passionate about meeting families where they are at and working in a variety of ways as

teachers, home visitors and community members to assist families getting the information and resources they need. Jen is a strong advocate for ECFE and parenting education both locally and at the state level.   

Jocelyn Pickreign (she/her), Simpson Housing Services

Jocelyn Pickreign has spent the last decade working with children and families.  Currently, she serves as the manager of Children and Youth Services (CYS) at Simpson Housing Services.  Simpson's CYS department offers evidence-based home visiting to families with children under five and a variety of programs for families with school-aged children and teens, including tutoring, mentoring, and education advocacy-- a partnership approach that helps parents build skills and confidence navigating the school system and advocating for their

children.  The department also runs bi-monthly "My Time" caregiver workshops that combine skill-shares and self-care in a format co-facilitated by caregivers; the Simpson Writers' Circle, a six-week creative writing workshop where participants produce and publish an original piece of creative work; and a bi-weekly Reflective Practice group for Simpson case managers. 

  

Jocelyn has a BA from Macalester College and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  In her free time, she likes baking, and hiking her way through all 66 Minnesota State Parks.   

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