Health Equity Leadership & Mentoring Program

Mission Statement

To enhance the academic excellence and leadership capacity of diverse faculty and health disparities researchers at the University of Minnesota to reduce health inequities


HELM Spotlight: Katie Miller 

Star Tribune Must Read: Anti-trans legislation is inhumane

This article from Star Tribune, co-written by PHDR HELM Fellow Kathleen "Katie" Miller, demonstrates how the introduced sports legislation which can penalize transgender athletes may exacerbate the high risk of poor mental health outcomes for transgender youth when they are not supported in their gender identity.

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Picture of the 12 2020-2021 HELM fellows.

HELM addresses some of the challenges that faculty and postdoctoral fellows/trainees from underserved and/or historically marginalized communities and other faculty whose research focuses on health equity may face in the academic setting. A new cohort of HELM fellows is selected annually to participate in the program. Applications open in the spring/summer.

Program Director: Dr. Susan Everson-Rose
Program Coordinator: Mikow Hang

Funding provided by the Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs and the Program in Health Disparities Research.

Program Components

  • Seminar Series Sessions: Fellows who are accepted into the program attend monthly seminar series sessions. In addition to traditional academic career development topics, seminars will cover critical topics in health equity research and leadership, i.e. cultural resonance and diversity, micro-aggressions and historical trauma, and the continuing impact of institutional racism on professional development in the 21st century. 
  • Mentoring: Fellows are matched with a senior level faculty mentor. Mentors in the program offer training on cultural diversity with proven methods to enhance mentoring effectiveness. Current mentor/mentee dyads can be considered for the program.

Who Should Apply?

The HELM program was designed specifically for UMN faculty and post-doctoral trainees who self-identify as a member of a community impacted by health inequities* and/or whose research addresses health disparities. 

*Examples include, but not limited to: BIPOC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, first-generation, rural, low SES, etc...


  • Receive $250 in career development funds
  • Mileage reimbursement for attending HELM seminars and events
  • Opportunities to meet with local and national leaders on topics of leadership development and health equity issues
  • Priority consideration for local and national professional development opportunities
  • Develop a professional network with other health equity scholars
  • Obtain a plaque upon successful completion of the program


Expectations for HELM Fellows include:

  • Attend the kickoff seminar - Friday, September 18, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm*
  • Seminar series will be held on the 2nd Friday of each month (October 2020 - June 2021) from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm*
    • Must be able to attend at least 7 out of 9 seminar series sessions
  • Meet at least three times with a HELM mentor over the course of a year
    • Complete an individual development plan, which includes a self-assessment, short and long-term goal setting, etc. that will be reviewed at each mentor meeting
  • Complete program evaluations
  • Provide post-program updates to program staff

*We are planning in-person sessions for now and will move to virtual Zoom sessions if we are unable to meet in person.