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Educating and activating health professionals to work toward health equity.

Our Board

Solomon Amare, MD

Dr. Solomon Amare is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota Internal Medicine residency program  working as a hospitalist through HealthPartners after completing a chief resident year. Originally born and raised in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago for medical school, Solomon moved to Minnesota for residency just over 4 years ago and  decided to make it home. Solomon joined Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity to further build those roots while also working toward goals as a new hospitalist to directly work on projects affecting and improving health equity. 


Connor Buechler, MD

Dr. Connor Buechler is an Internal Medicine and Dermatology resident at the University of Minnesota. Though he was born in Minnesota, he grew up in Mississippi and graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, where he was active in advocacy and healthcare provision for the homeless as well as expanding racial equity in medical education. He has served in numerous organizations focused on health equity, and has a particular practice interest in under-resourced populations with limited access to medical care. 


Susie Emmert, MSW, LGSW

Susie Emmert is the Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for Hennepin Healthcare System. Susie represents Hennepin Healthcare at the county, state and federal levels of government, advocating on behalf of the thousands of patients served each year, over 7,000 staff and the many safety-net services provided in our community, with an emphasis on Medicaid and public programs. Susie’s experience includes working in the community as a social worker in multiple capacities. Susie was an adjunct instructor for nine years teaching public policy and the history of social welfare to graduate social work students at Augsburg and St. Catherine’s University. Susie holds a B.A. in Social Work from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and a Master of Social Work degree from Augsburg University in Minneapolis.


David Hamlar, MD DDS

Major General (RET) David Hamlar is a craniofacial skull base surgeon and retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard where he was the Assistant Adjutant General. His is on staff at Regions Hospital and HealthPartners Clinics. His affiliation with the University of Minnesota includes training medical students and residents as well as administrative responsibilities on the admissions committee and as a faculty advisor. He is Chair of his Department of Otolaryngology’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the Medical School’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He is currently on multiple Boards to include Twin Cities Chapter Red Cross (Chair), KMOJ Radio (Chair), Minnesota Humanities Center, StarBase Minnesota, and NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center.


Ryan Jelinek, DO

Dr. Jelinek a practicing Internal Medicine physician and Clinical Informatics (CI) fellow at Hennepin Healthcare. His medicine practice spans both ambulatory and hospitalist work. He has recently begun a telemedicine training program for residents and faculty at HCMC. His CI work is focused on telehealth and EHR workflow optimization. He has championed telemedicine equity work at Hennepin Healthcare and more broadly in the Twin Cities community. He sits on several healthcare equity focused committees at Hennepin Healthcare. Ryan also sits on the executive board of the AMIA College of Informatics Fellows where he helps guide CI fellows on a national level to the importance of focusing the equity lens on our work. He graduated from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Hennepin Healthcare. Ryan is originally from Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is a proud husband and father to two children. When not practicing medicine or thinking about the future of medicine, he enjoys being outdoors playing golf, pickleball and skiing. 


Sakina Naqvi, MD

Dr. Sakina Naqvi grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and attended Dow Medical College. Her interest in health outreach stemmed in her childhood when she regularly accompanied her father, also a physician, to rural areas to screen for chronic diseases and subsequently collect baseline data to establish a national registry. She moved to the United States after her medical education and worked at the Chronic Disease Research Group at Hennepin County Medical Center where she was a junior investigator and looked at specific Cardiovascular diseases in End Stage Renal Disease through the lens of Medicare population. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center and was a Chief resident upon completion of her residency. She then pursued a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Minnesota and joined the HealthEast Care System, now M Health Fairview, upon graduation. She currently serves as the Pulmonary Service Line Director at M Health Fairview and is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Recently, she was appointed the Minnesota Department of Health’s point person, in the Vaping Induced Lung Injury in adults. She remains strongly connected to her roots in Pakistan and is currently involved in helping set up a hospital that will focus on renal diseases in conjunction with the Karachi University in Karachi, Pakistan.


Rosemond Sarpong Owens, MPH CDM

Rosemond Sarpong Owens loves the Lord, loves people. She is a Pan African, philanthropist, mom, storyteller, and author of the book, “Apples in A Seed” and author of several children’s books under the moniker, “Lion’s Historian”. She is currently at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Minnesota leading the company’s enterprise-wide focus on building racial and health equity into the organization’s mission and business practices to impact systemic racism and health inequities. Rosemond has served on various boards and is currently the Vice President of the Greater Twins Chapter of the Links Incorporated, Chair of the Hennepin Health Care Community Advisory Board and the Chair of the Impact Committee of the March of Dimes, Minnesota Market. Her work has been recognized locally and nationally and was recently awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award President by President Biden in 2022.


Koushik Paul

Paul (He/Him) is a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. Paul is an Indigenous Asylee from Bangladesh who got interested in a career in medicine, health equity, and community organizing due to access-related healthcare barriers his family had to navigate in rural Minnesota as farm workers. His interest in health equity became galvanized as Paul realized that other marginalized Minnesota communities experience similar barriers to health equity similar to his family through his volunteering, research, and community organizing experiences prior to medical school. 

Paul holds a variety of leadership roles on campus (and beyond), and an active volunteer in both Duluth and the Twin Cities, working to address health disparities and inequities on the ground.


Cuong Pham, MD - President 

Dr. Cuong Pham is internal medicine and pediatrics trained. He was born in Vietnam and escaped as a refugee at an early age. He was raised in Little Canada, Minnesota and is a proud life-long Golden Gopher from his undergraduate education to residency training. Currently he splits his time doing inpatient medicine at the University of Minnesota and primary care at the Community University Health Care Center.  He is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota and is the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee for Graduate Medical Education. He has a focus on immigrant health and has worked abroad from South Africa to Vietnam. He is a licensed Buprenorphine provider, treating patients with opiate addiction. He is also interested in further understanding the impact of opiates on our marginalized populations.

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Elizabeth Rogers, MD, MAS - Secretary

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Rogers is an Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota (UMN). She works as a primary care physician at the Community University Health Care Center, a safety-net clinic in Minneapolis. She also conducts research as part of the UMN Program in Health Disparities Research. Her research focuses on improving primary care systems to support patients with social vulnerability and complex chronic diseases, particularly diabetes. She has studied models such as peer coaches and community health workers, and enjoys projects done in collaboration with community and other stakeholders. She has worked with communities domestically and in Central America and Mexico, and served as a board member of Doctors for Global Health for nine years. Beth is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. After finishing her combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency training at the Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital program, she completed the Primary Care Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. 


Emily Rose, MD

Dr. Emily Rose completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota and then joined Methodist Hospital as a hospitalist. While there, she gained expertise in medical and social issues faced by elderly people. She later worked in transitional care units where her responsibilities included working to reduce re-hospitalization, managing complex medical issues, and having delicate conversations with patients and families about such topics as end of life care and the need to change living environments.

She is interested in addressing how racism translates into health inequities focusing on areas such as poverty, social determinants of health, and a lack of trust in the healthcare system. As a geriatrician, she is interested in the racial disparities in end of life care, especially those affecting the African American community. 


Tom Schmidt, MD, MHS-Treasurer 

Tom Schmidt is starting his residency at University of Minnesota in Internal Medicine, with the goal of pursuing a fellowship in Infectious Diseases. Tom is the new Student/Resident board member at MDHEQ. Additionally, he is currently a Twin Cities Medical Society Advocacy Fellow working to improve syringe exchange services in Minnesota.

Having worked in Baltimore conducting HIV/HCV testing before medical school and working  at the syringe exchange within the Red Door Clinic, Tom has become a passionate advocate for harm reduction in the context of infectious diseases. While in medical school, Tom has been actively engaged in advocacy to improve immunization rates in Minnesota, improve Minnesota’s response to the opioid crisis, and harm reduction associated with injection drug use. His advocacy has been within the medical school to change the curriculum regarding pain management and opioids to working with legislators at the State Capitol to pass legislation on opioids. 


Paul Strain, MD

Paul Strain is an Internal Medicine-Pediatrics resident at the University of Minnesota. Prior to starting his medical education, Paul taught high school biology and physiology to 9th and 10th graders at Fremont High School in Oakland, California. During his time as an educator in Oakland he witnessed how racism impacts the health and wellbeing of children and communities. While in medical school he served for two terms as a board member on the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics working alongside pediatricians to improve outcomes for all Minnesota kids. Paul partnered with fellow officers of the University of Minnesota Chapter of White Coats for Black Lives to develop an annual Health Equity Week to educate medical student peers about health disparities, social determinants of health, and racism to augment the medical school curriculum. Paul is excited to apply a health equity lens to policies affecting the health of fellow Minnesotans as a board member of MDHEQ. 



Educating and activating health professionals to work toward health equity


Health Professionals will use their voice, knowledge, and influence to eliminate the inequities that exist in health and healthcare, while working effectively with their patients, health systems, communities, and decision makers to address health equity wherever they live, work, learn, and play.

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