SAHRC staff bring over 25 years of experience working directly with local and state MCH programs and providing technical support to state-level adolescent health professionals. They offer unique perspectives from backgrounds in public health, school health, education, public policy, and organizational development.  

Lynn Bretl

Lynn Bretl, MPP
SAHRC Director
[email protected]
Lynn is passionate about the health and well-being of young people, and supporting their growth and development by empowering public health professionals to implement evidence-informed strategies and practices. She has spent her career focusing on translating best practices in youth development, sexual health education, and clinical services for young people into practice and policy. Her ongoing experiences working directly with young people inspire her, as do the innovative strategies her national colleagues develop at the state level to advance adolescent health in their communities. Lynn also serves as an Adjunct Instructor, in the University’s Division of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Katie Pierson

Katie Pierson
Communications Manager
[email protected]

Katie brings almost two decades of experience as a strategic communications consultant. Her mission-driven work includes racial equity, reproductive health, and anti-sex trafficking projects in county government, philanthropy, and Planned Parenthood MN/ND/SD. Author of an award-winning young adult novel, ’89 Walls (Wise Ink, 2015), she is known for her ability to engage and align diverse stakeholders to define and advance a shared mission and build inclusive narratives. Katie views healthy youth development as the thin end of a powerful wedge, one that can crack our most persistent racial and economic disparities.


SAHRC benefits from a university setting committed to inter-collegiate, inter-professional initiatives, particularly in population- focused child and youth health, community-engaged scholarship, research translation, systems- change and advocacy. The UMN organizational context brings extensive experience and capacity for training, research and evaluation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, particularly with Title V-funded partners.  

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