Minneapolis Health Department Commissioner Gretchen Musicant recently earned the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health’s Gaylord W. Anderson Leadership Award.
The school gives the annual award to alumni who serve as visionary leaders, teachers, collaborators and public health ambassadors in their communities. Award recipients must demonstrate intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and the ability to inspire others.
Musicant has served as the Minneapolis Health Department’s commissioner since 2005. She manages 100 employees and oversees the department’s mission to improve the quality of life for all in the city by protecting the environment, preventing disease and injury, promoting healthy behaviors, and creating a city that is a healthy place to live, work and play.
A few of the Health Department’s accomplishments during Musicant’s tenure as commissioner:
- Covered more than 8,000 community clinic visits for uninsured people in 2013.
- Connected with nearly 600 teens and their children in their homes in 2013.
- Provided dental care for nearly 1,000 children in 2013.
- Helped deliver school-based clinic services for 2,900 students in 2013.
- Spearheaded the “Seen on da Streets” project to improve reproductive health among young men. The project has resulted in connecting with more than 10,000 young men where they hang out in Minneapolis through peer-outreach activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave the project an Award for Innovation for its exceptional level of creativity.
- Developed a screening tool for pregnant women that provides an unbiased way to identify their need for help with transportation, housing, food, social support, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Recent public health successes in the city:
- The pregnancy rate for 15- to 17-year old girls declined by half between 2006 and 2011.
- No children under the age of 18 were victims of homicide in 2013. Since 2006, homicides among children dropped 60 percent and incidents with guns among children decreased 67 percent.
- The number of 3-year-olds getting preschool screening nearly doubled since 2005.
- Lead poisoning decreased 80 percent since 2002.
Published Apr 2, 2014