Community Health & Advocacy

Connect and empower child health advocates to drive health equity by positively impacting where children live, learn, and play.

An engaged community where every child has the opportunity to be happy & healthy.

Health equity is reached when every person has the opportunity to achieve their full, healthy potential regardless of socio-economic status, access to resources and/or social capital. Driven by a mission to enhance health equity, especially for underrepresented children and families, the Community Health & Advocacy team collaborates internally with Children’s providers and departments, and externally with key community partners to positively influence the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) that affect long-term health outcomes for children.

Our Team

Children’s Community Health and Advocacy staff work with community leaders, early childhood educators, childcare providers, school systems, health systems, and community partners to help every child reach their full potential. This dedicated team includes:

Megan Connelly, DNP, APRN-NP, CPNP-AC/PC, NE-BC Vice President of Community Pediatrics & Child Health

Jeanee Weiss, MBA, MS, Community Health Strategy Leader

Holly Dingman, MS, RD, Director

Andrea Riley, School Health Liaison, State School Nurse Consultant

Chrissy Tonkinson, MPH, Data and Evaluation Project Manager

Emily Hulse, MS, Community Program Coordinator

Jennifer Patten Benson, MPA, Community Benefit Manager

Jewel Schifferns, MSW, PLMHP, School Social Work Coordinator

Maya Wedlow, MPH, Community Health Project Coordinator

Melissa Walker, MS, Operations Specialist

Rick Helweg, Community Outreach Coordinator

Kim Castellano, Sr. Administrative Assist – Cardiology, Project ADAM Coordinator

Areas of Work

Community Benefit: Documenting how Children’s makes investments in the community​ and helps tell the story of impact of those investments.
Community Health: Making a difference in our community where children live, learn, and play ​with a focus on community health activities identified as “impact areas” by conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment and facilitating and managing Implementation Strategy Plan process.
Advocacy: Serving as the voice of children, their families, and the issues impacting their health in the community and compliments Government Affairs & Public Policy Advocacy.

Our Priorities

  • Pediatric Mental Wellness
  • Financial Stability
  • Food Security
  • Healthy Housing

Legacy Programs

  • Early Childhood
  • School Health

Learn more about Programs & Initiatives

Our Location

Nebraska Innovation Campus
2021 Transformation Drive, Suite 1200
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 955-6871


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