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Board Members

The 2018-2019 Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Minnesota Academy of Pediatrics Foundation:


Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP
Essentia Health - Duluth Clinic
Sheldon Berkowitz, MD Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP
Clinical Medical Director and Physician Advisor with Children's of Minnesota
Eileen Crespo, MD

Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP
Chapter Oral Health Advocate and Pediatrician at HCMC



Andrew Kiragu, MD

Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP
Immediate Past President
Interim Chief of Pediatrics



Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, MPH, FAAP Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, MPH, FAAP
Consultant with the Division of Cmmunity Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic
Kelly Bergmann, DO

Kelly Bergmann, DO, MS, FAAP
Pediatric Emergency Physician
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Deb Buchman, MD Deborah Buchman, MD, FAAP
Southdale Pediatrics
Pamela Gigi Chawla, MD Pamela Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician, Pediatric Hospitalist, Senior Medical Director of Primary Care
Lisa Guetzko, MD Lisa Cinar, MD, FAAP
General Pediatrician
North Memorial Clinic - Maple Grove
Valeria Cristiani, MD Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP
Mayo Clinic
Angela Goepford, MD Angela Goepford, MD, FAAP
Associate Director of Medical Education
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota -- Minneapolis
Naomi Goloff, MD, FAAP Naomi Goloff, MD, FAAP
Medical Director of Pediatric Hospice at U of M Masonic Children's Hospital
Gretchen Karstens, MD

Gretchen Karstens, MD, FAAP
General Pediatrician
St. Luke's

Anupam Kharbanda, MD, MSc Anupam Kharbanda, MD, FAAP, MSc
Director of Research for Emergency and Trauma Services
Children's of Minnesota
Dawn Martin, MD

Dawn Martin, MD
Hennepin Healthcare

Joseph Neglia, MD Joseph P. Neglia, MD, MPH, FAAP
Chair of the Department of Pediatrics
University of Minnesota
Janna Gerwitz O'Brien, MD Janna Gewirtz O'Brien, MD, FAAP
Associate Director of Medical Education
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota -- Minneapolis
Nancy Ott, MD

Nancy Ott, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Allergist
Allergy and Asthma Specialists


Michael Pitt, MD Michael Pitt, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor, Medical Director of Informatics Education
University of Minnesota
Read Sulik, MD L. Read Sulik, MD, FAAP, DFAACAP
Chief Integration Officer
Deborah Smith-Wright, MD Deborah Lee Smith-Wright, MD, FAAP
Chief of Pediatrics
Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Twin Cities
Rachel Tellez, MD Rachel Tellez, MD, MS, FAAP
General Pediatrician
Lindsey Yock, MD

Lindsey Yock, MD, JD, FAAP
Pediatric Hospitalist at Children's of Minnesota

Medical Students/Trainees on the Board

Mayo Clinic

U of M
  Katie Johnson, MD
Mayo Clinic
Sandy Liu, MD

Sandy Liu, MD
U of M

Amr El-Bokl, MD
U of M

  Kylie Anderson
Medical Student
Mayo Clinic

Bri Naumchil
Medical Student
U of M



Katherin Cairns, MPH, MBA Katherine Cairns, MPH, MBA
Executive Director
Eric Dick Eric Dick
Melissa DeBilzan Melissa DeBilzan
Director of Communications


Are you interested in serving on the MNAAP Board of Directors? 

Please send an email to before March 31st of each year indicating your interest in serving on the Board of Directors. Include a copy of your CV and provide a brief (max 200 words) explanation of why you would like to serve on the MNAAP Board of Directors and what special expertise/skills/interests would you bring to the Board if elected?

  • Board members serve a 3-year term and can leave the board after their first term is up or stay on for one additional term for a total of 6 years.
  • Those new Board members elected in May will serve a term of July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2021
  • The nominating committee is composed of past presidents of the MNAAP who met and reviewed information on candidates and make recommendations to the MNAAP Executive Committee for the ballot.
  • Candidates on the ballot run in uncontested races (no opponent) so that the Board can ensure a good representation from across the state, practice  locations, and diversity
  • The Board meets 4 times per year in the evening, usually from 6:30-8:30 p.m. It has been meeting on Wednesday or Thursday evenings over the past five years, usually at a pediatric hospital or at the MN Medical Association building in Minneapolis
  • Board members are also strongly encouraged to attend the membership dinner at the annual Hot Topics in Pediatrics- and/or the Pediatrics Day at the Capitol.
  • Board members sign a "conflict of interest" statement at the first board meeting indicating that as board members they are working to promote pediatrics across the state, not a particular organization and also indicate if a conflict of interest prevent participation in a board vote
  • There is no financial compensation for Board service...just dinner at the meeting...and working with a great group of pediatricians from across the state. Mileage is reimbursed for Board members traveling from greater Minnesota to the Board meeting.
  • The Board members also serve as the board for the sister organization which is a 501c3 foundation which receives grant and government funds to promote the MNAAP chapter member priorities, The Board is called the Minnesota Academy of Pediatrics Foundation
  • Board members are encouraged to also participate in one of the chapter's work groups that meet twice a year or monthly by conference call.