Pravleen Bajwa, MPH is a Project Assistant with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. Pravleen is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences. Her research interests include chronic disease epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, health disparities, and Geographic Information System (GIS). Prior to her PhD career, Pravleen was a Public Health Research Coordinator at the Washington University in St. Louis and worked on projects focused on Community Based Participatory Research and community engagement in public health research.
Mahima Bhattar is the Project Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. She works on a team focused on increasing Covid-19 Vaccine Confidence in Wisconsin. Mahima is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majored in Sociology and Economics in addition to holding certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies and South Asian Studies. Her research interests include maternal health and global health.
Ellie Knoll is a graduate student hourly assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. She works on the Maternal Mortality Review project and provides administrative support. Ellie is an MPH candidate at the UWSMPH and her research interests include maternal and infant mortality, health disparities, and rural health in Wisconsin.
After earning her degree in Dental Hygiene, Deanna McKinney worked for ten years in private dental practice, volunteering in various oral health programs including, Healthy Smiles for Portage County school-based dental sealant program, Special Olympics Special Smiles and the Wisconsin Dental Association Missions of Mercy. Her passion for public health motivated her to find ways to make a larger impact which propelled her to become the program lead of the Healthy Smiles for Portage County program. Her collaborations with Boys and Girls Club of Portage County, Charles F Fernandez Center for Alternative Learning, Ministry Dental Center and Wisconsin Farm Technology Days generated programs that increase access to oral health care for many underserved populations. She is thrilled to take on the role of Outreach Specialist with the School of Medicine and Public Health.
Janice Valenzuela is the Engagement & Translation Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. Prior to joining the Center, Janice was the Outreach Coordinator for the Minority Health Program at the Department of Health Services, where she worked to engage statewide partners addressing health disparities and equity issues across Wisconsin. Her relevant experiences include coordinating the activities of the Minority Health Advisory Committee and providing support to Minority Health Program grantees. Some of her interests include culturally responsive evaluation; interdisciplinary collaboration, and network analysis/network weaving; all in an effort to advance health equity.
Lesley is the Program Director for the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute (HWLI) at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Lesley has been providing coaching, training and technical assistance to build leadership capacity for HWLI communities since 2008. She works with coalitions across Wisconsin to address root causes of inequities, and center leadership of those most impacted to advance health and health equity. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Lesley served as the Sales Manager for Homegrown Wisconsin Cooperative. In this role, she supported Wisconsin organic vegetable growers as a liaison to chefs in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison and organized communities to develop localized food systems. Lesley’s work is rooted in social justice and analyzing relationships and systems of power to promote social change. Lesley’s program interests are the social determinants of health and health equity; grassroots community organizing; strategic planning and implementation of public health policy. Lesley also serves on the board of directors for GSAFE, dedicated to creating school communities where LGBTQ+ students can thrive.