Chief Executive Officer
Kristine Rhodes, MPH
Anishinaabe, Fond du Lac and Bad River Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 844)
Read Kristine's Bio
Amber Cardinal, MPH
Arikara, Hidatsa, Ojibwa
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 849)
Read Amber's Bio
As a Project Coordinator with AICAF, Amber works across multiple projects and initiatives including the Healthy Native Foods Initiative and Fon Du Lac Comprehensive Cancer Program. In leading these projects she focuses on designing and evaluating cancer prevention strategies to inform, support and strengthen sustainable systems in American Indian communities and support the development of resources, programs and services to promote healthy norms and ultimately improve health. It is Amber's passion to work with and for the American Indian community to raise awareness about the existing health inequities, their causes and methods for improving the state of health.
Community Outreach Specialist
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 853)
Read Daanis's Bio
At AICAF, Daanis is the Community Outreach Specialist and leads the breast health awareness Pink Shawl Project which educates American Indian women about breast health issues and improving access to screening in a way that is culturally-tailored and community based within tribal and urban communities. Daanis also leads the Quit Connections tobacco cessation project which is designed to reinforce existing cessation efforts and to increase quit attempts within tribal and urban American Indian communities through social media and material development.
Amanda Dionne, BA
Lame Deer Northern Cheyenne/Turtle Mountain Ojibwe
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 847)
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Currently, Amanda works at The American Indian Cancer Foundation serving as the Outreach Coordinator for the Tribal Health Equity in Prevention Project. She will work with the Minnesota American Indian communities to decrease excess morbidity and mortality through community dialogue, policy development, and by working with communities to identify strategies to impact change.
Marketing & Design Manager
Jessica Harjo, MA
Otoe-Missouria, Osage, Pawnee, Sac & Fox
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 846)
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Jessica is a National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) "40 Native Americans Under 40" 2009 Recipient, and has received other leadership awards and honors for her work with promoting leadership amongst Native youth.
As the Marketing & Design Manager at AICAF, she is responsible for the design and implementation of AICAF in programs, resources, social media, print and digital materials, and affiliated websites. She also works with media and marketing throughout the work of AICAF.
Grace Jaworski, BA
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 857)
Read Grace's Bio
At AICAF, Grace develops communication plans and materials for a variety of projects including smoking cessation and the HPV vaccine. She also supports fundraising and development initiatives for the foundation.
Chris Johnson, MA
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 856)
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At AICAF, Chris leads the American Indian Oral Cancer Prevention project, using needs assessment findings to develop materials and resources related to oral cancer screening and tobacco cessation in dental clinics, and applies his background in policy, systems, and environmental change across AICAF programs.
Research Programs Coordinator
Meggan McCann, MPH
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 850)
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Meggan has an MPH from the University of Minnesota’s Community Health Promotion program and has previously worked in communications for the Minnesota Department of Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Program.
At AICAF, Meggan leads projects related to the HPV vaccine and clinical systems improvement for tobacco cessation. Her primary interests include culturally appropriate messaging and research to improve health interventions.
Policy Programs Manager
Melanie Plucinski, MPH
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Ojibwe
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 854)
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Melanie is the former Legislative Director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and also worked for the Department of Human Services’ Office of Economic Opportunity as the American Indian Liaison. During her time in graduate school, Melanie worked with the St. Paul Family Education Diabetes Series (FEDS). She also spent two years as a Community Health Worker with the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic and conducted her field experience in nutrition and social business with the Peace House Secondary School in Tanzania.
As the Policy Programs Manager, Melanie works across multiple AICAF projects and initiatives with a special emphasis on policy, systems and environmental change to advance tribal health equity, cancer prevention, and healthy norms in American Indian communities.
Community Education Specialist
Joy Rivera, CHW
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 843)
Read Joy's Bio
Currently, Joy does outreach in the Twin Cities indigenous community as the colon cancer screening navigator. In this work, she will tell you and anyone who will listen how to prevent colon cancer.
Health Programs Specialist
Laura Sioux Roberts, BA
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 855)
Read Laura's Bio
Throughout her four years at the University of St. Thomas, Laura served as both an intern for the Justice and Peace Studies department and a coordinator for the Students for Justice and Peace club on campus. She also served as a Peer Consultant with the Center for Writing, where she offered support to students in developing their writing skills. Prior to her work at AICAF, Laura worked as a Research Assistant with the Planning Services Division of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board doing community outreach, data collection, and data analysis.
Laura is committed to supporting youth and healing in the American Indian community. Laura’s foremost goal is both to teach and be taught, to learn from her community in order to continue on a strong, healthy path and to help her people. As the Health Programs Specialist at AICAF, Laura provides support to the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative. Through her work, Laura hopes to increase the number of American Indian women who are screened for cervical cancer in accordance with state or national health care guidelines.
Public Health Associate
Sambridhi Shrestha, MPH
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 852)
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Neely Snyder, BS
Anishinaabe, St. Croix, Mille Lacs & Red Lake
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 841)
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Neely has a passion and commitment to working with and for Native American communities and brings a wealth of skills and experience in non-profit management of the administrative, financial, and human resource functions of the American Indian Cancer Foundation.
Health Projects Manager
Anne Walaszek, MPH
Anishinaabe, White Earth
Office: 612.314.4848 (ext. 842)
Read Anne's Bio
Her passion to work in the area of American Indian health led to the opportunity in coordinating a task force with tribal and urban communities in Minnesota focused on diabetes prevention. As the Research Associate, she leads the data management and analyses efforts across multiple projects in addition to conducting the recruitment and scheduling for all INPACS visits.