HCA-MN’s Board of Directors
|Mark Brakke, Chair
Mark Brakke is a retired family practice doctor with experience in health systems management. After undergraduate and doctoral preparation at Northwestern University he practiced in Coon Rapids until 2014.
Along the way he had stints as clinic board chairman and clinic medical director. He also served on the Health Partners Board of Directors and Allina committees focused on quality healthcare.
| Anne Jones, Vice Chair
Anne C. Jones RN, BSN, MA. Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Minnesota. Master of Arts, Health and Human Services, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Practiced nursing for over 45 years. Experience includes direct patient care for general surgery patients, medical and surgical intensive care, and the multi-specialty operating rooms, University of Minnesota Hospitals.
Anne has had a long-standing interest in health policy and financing of health care in the U.S. Retired from active nursing care in 2015 to focus on advocacy for health care payment reform to assure universal coverage in Minnesota, ultimately in the U.S. Served 23 years in the United States Air Force Reserve, Nurse Corps, on flying status for over 20 years, retired at the rank of LtCol.
Anne has been a member of the health care team for Take Action Minnesota for the last five years, advocating for implementation of a state-based health insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and maintenance of Minnesota’s commitment to our public health insurance programs. Professional Associations: Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses, American Nurses Association, MN Nurses Association, Reserve Officers Association.
| Don Pylkkanen, Secretary/Treasurer
Don Pylkkanen is HCA-MN’s Secretary/Treasurer and is Executive Director of Minnesota COACT which has been active with farm, labor, business, education, and physician groups in the statewide movement for affordable, high quality care for every Minnesotan since the early 1990s. Although the movement’s name has changed from Health Care Campaign of Minnesota, Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, and now Health Care for All Minnesota, Don, as a board and committee member of these coalitions, has witnessed an unremitting commitment of hundreds of volunteers to reach the movement’s goal.
As a Vietnam War veteran he receives low-cost, high quality care directly from the Veterans Health Administration, so he believes everyone should receive that same kind of direct care from doctors and hospitals without having to pay high premiums and deductibles to for-profit insurers that don’t provide care.
|Bruce Larson has more than 30 years of professional experience in the design, development, funding and management of employment and training programs, energy conservation programs, emergency assistance programs, and affordable housing construction. As Vice President for a private developer he presented plans and obtained financing from state and local agencies which resulted in the construction of over 1200 units of affordable housing in 8 states and 14 communities
Bruce was a founding board member of the Minnesota Housing. He was vice chair of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. He authored a self-help book for the unemployed and underemployed called “Basic Tools” which the Cargill Foundation distributed to agencies and individuals throughout the Metro area.
Bruce graduated the University of Iowa in History and did graduate work in Urban and Regional Planning. He served for two years with the Peace Corps in rural Turkey doing community organizing and development. Currently he does consulting in the areas of affordable housing including site identification, acquisition, financing, budgeting and management.
|Megan Nieto is a Principal of Community Health Worker Services at CHW Solutions, an innovative healthcare company revolutionizing the circle of care by mobilizing teams of Community Health Workers. Megan's expertise is in direct supportive services for patients living with chronic health conditions and families experiencing lead poisoning, healthy homes issues, and asthma.
As a Community Health Worker Megan provides direct services to individuals and families by delivering health education, helping them to build self-management skills, and linking them to resources. Megan is passionate about delivering high-quality CHW services in locations that are familiar and comfortable for the patient.
Megan is from St. Paul, has a BS in Biology from St. Cloud State, and completed her CHW certificate at Northwest Technical College. Megan is bilingual Spanish/English and additional professional experiences include serving as the Director of Community Health Programs at a local community-based organization and as a Community Lead Educator.
| Rose Roach is the Executive Director of the MN Nurses Association. Rose came to MNA in October 2014 from the California School Employees Association, where she was a field director. In California, Rose was the co-chairperson of Single Payer San Joaquin and served as the San Joaquin Regional Coordinator for the Campaign for a Healthy California, which advocates for healthcare as a human right. Her organization fought for a ballot initiative to establish a single-payer healthcare system in California.
Rose started her professional career at the Minnesota School Employees Association in St. Paul as an administrative assistant, organizer, labor representative, and executive director for 13 years. She attended Metro State University in St. Paul and Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights.Rose grew up in a union family and neighborhood in St. Paul, where her father was a proud union brewer for Schmidt Brewery.
| Chuck Smith-Dewey is the founder and CEO of healthinsurance.org, a site he has published since 1994 to give consumers information they need to help make informed choices in navigating a confusing and costly private health insurance system. He is also the "Big Red Cheese" at
A long time activist, he is also vice chair of the board of the Philadelphia-based non-profit To Be Fair, which publishes Tarbell.org, a journalistic endeavor to expose the influence of big-moneyed interests on our political process.
| Mary Tjosvold has a Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Minnesota and has completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School. She founded Mary T. Inc. in 1976.
She has been recognized by several organizations as a leading Minnesota businesswoman and humanitarian. She has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, and in 2012, was awarded the Local Legend Award by General Mills at the Martin Luther King Holiday Breakfast. Mary T. currently serves on the University of Minnesota College CEHD Board and the board of the Center for Victims of Torture. She served as a member of the Board of the " American Refugee Committee between 1997 and 2009 and Chair of the Board from 2002 to 2006.
|Ken Engelhart gradulated from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1978. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester in 1981. He worked in rural South Dakota for four years and then worked in primary care at the Marshfield Clinic from 1986 to 2006.
In 2006 he begin a career at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis Minnesota. He became the Co-Chief of primary care medicine where he was involved in beginning the patient centered medical home , helping achieve improved quicker access to veterans in primary care at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and a special project to achieve medication access for Veterans who need Hepatitis C treatment.
He has had the varied experience of working in a small rural clinic, a larger health maintenance organization care clinic and a publicly funded and delivered care system at the VA Medical Center. At the VA, prescription drug prices were able to be negotiated to 40 % less cost than in the private sector. Ken is passionate about advocating and being an expert in health policy .Together he is working with his wife Carol to bring the message of best and fair health care for all ages.