State COVID advisor to speak at McPherson College students

Special to the Sentinel

The chief advisor for COVID-19 coordination for Kansas, Dr. Marci Nielsen, will speak to Health Science classes and students at McPherson College on Sept. 16. Dr. Nielsen has been an advisor to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly since Jan. 2021.

Dr. Marci Nielsen will speak to Health Science classes and students at McPherson College

She will speak via Zoom to students in two classes as well as to Health Science Scholars and members of the Pre-Health Professions Club during lunch. Her topics will cover community health, health policy, as well as community outreach, and why it is important to public health and population health.

“We are thrilled to welcome a speaker like Dr. Nielsen who can give our students great insight into the community health,” Dr. Nick Baldetti, director of healthcare initiatives at McPherson College, said. “Her broad range of experience and her educational path is the perfect example for the students in our program.”

Prior to her role with the Governor’s Office, Dr. Nielsen served as vice president of policy and strategy for the Government Employee Health Association. Her experience developing health policy includes executive roles at federal, state, and association levels, as well as academic leadership roles. During her career, she has served as vice chancellor of public affairs and faculty member at the University of Kansas Medical Center, CEO of a national primary care association, director of the State of Kansas health care agency, and health lobbyist for the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC. She received her Ph.D. in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, her MPH from George Washington University, and her undergraduate degree from Briar Cliff University.

The Health Science program is in its second year at McPherson College. The program offers majors in health science and healthcare management and matches students with a wide variety of hands-on educational opportunities developed through partnerships with local healthcare agencies like the McPherson Hospital. The program focuses on creating health-related career pathways for students while engaging within the community and offers annual Health Science Scholars awards of $27,000 to its top students.

Dr. Nielsen was among the consultants who worked with the college while developing the new academic program.