At the Minnesota Public Health Association’s annual meeting on April 19, University of Minnesota School of Public Health MPH student Ms. Tessa Lasswell was honored with the organization’s 2017 Student Achievement Award. Ms. Lasswell is a second year student in the Coordinated Master’s Program in Public Health Nutrition.
[Photo: Ms. Tessa Lasswell]
The Student Achievement Award honors a student enrolled in the master’s degree program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health who has demonstrated leadership skills to promote the health of individuals, families, and the community.
Ms. Lasswell was recognized for her work at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, a student-run free clinic in Minneapolis where she has served as performance co-chair since 2016. She is the first student from her program to hold the co-chair position on the clinic’s administrative board and she uses her leadership role to incorporate public health into the clinic’s care.
“Too often, the voices of public health aren’t heard in student-run, free clinics,” said Ms. Lasswell. “I have been able to advocate for the role of public health and nutrition at the clinic and have brought a new perspective focused more on prevention than simply treatment.”
In her role, Ms. Lasswell works to inspire a clinic culture focused on the social determinants of health. “I encourage all student volunteers to consider a patient’s means to transportation, ability to access food, and housing needs when creating a care plan,” she said.
“Being honored with this award both feels like an acknowledgement of the work I have done for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, but also serves as a call to action to keep the momentum and work alive,” Ms. Lasswell said.