Board of Directors

Brian Yablon, MD

Dr. Brian Yablon is an internal medicine and pediatric hospitalist at HCMC in Minneapolis, where he enjoys providing care for a diverse and largely underserved patient population as well as teaching residents and medical students. He never ceases to be shocked by the inequity and inhumanity of our health care system. As a medical resident, he served on the board of PNHP-MN from 2010-2012 before moving to Anchorage, AK as a CDC public health fellow and subsequently working for several years as a hospitalist at the Alaska Native Medical Center. On returning to Minnesota in 2017, he was excited to become reinvolved with PNHP-MN and is currently serving as board president.

 Carol Engelhart, RN

Carol Engelhart started her nursing career in 1975 as   a hospital nurse later training to be a diabetes nurse specialist.  Her passion for others in everyone having best and fair care begin with her history of being a daughter of a small town family doctor  in rural South Dakota.  In the past eleven years, she has been working in Minneapolis and St Paul as a diabetes nurse specialist first at Health Partners and then at the VA Medical Center. She retired in April 2017 .She has kept her passion for everyone having best and fair care by now being an advocate and expert for health care for all ages. She currently serves on the Physicians for a National Health Program –Minnesota board.  She is married to Ken Engelhart MD. Together they are working as a team to bring the message of health care for all ages to both city and rural areas.

Kenneth Engelhart, MD

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. He is current board member for Physicians for a National Health Program –Minnesota

Lauren Peterson, MS, MPAS, PA-C

Lauren is currently working at Open Cities Health Center, a federally qualified health center in St. Paul. She has earned a BS in nutrition from St. Catherine University, an MS in Nutrition at University of Nevada Reno, and finished her Physician Assistant studies at St. Catherine University.

Beret Fitzgerald 

Beret recently helped PNHP Minnesota out with rural outreach and coordination, including visits to International Falls and Worthington to connect with healthcare providers. She is a second year medical student at the U. Writing about her rotation at International Falls, Beret “was impressed with the quality of care and resilience that this community has shown in its commitment to providing healthcare. I also heard at all levels – from administrators to patients, frustration with the healthcare system, costs, and accessibility of care.” Read her op-ed in the International Falls Journal here!

Kari Carlson, MPH

Kari provided administrative support to PNHP in 2017 and 2018, and has recently joined the organization as a board member. Kari recently graduated with her Master of Public Health degree focusing in Health Equity and Environmental Health, and is now working with a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the North/Northeast Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Kari became drawn to the fight for equitable access to healthcare after experiencing and witnessing innumerable family and personal hardships for the sake of healthcare profits, and decided to add Single Payer advocacy to her career pursuing health equity after hearing a PNHP speaker in 2013.

Chuck Sawyer, DC

Dr. Chuck Sawyer is a chiropractic doctor and has been a member of the faculty and administration of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota during a career that spans over 35 years.

His work and experience as an educator and clinician stimulated an interest in health policy and concern about a range of issues including health inequities and the challenges of low income patients. This led him to the conclusion that a change in how health care is financed in the US and Minnesota is necessary to achieve the goal of universal access to affordable care. Chuck served as the PNHP Minnesota chapter president from August 2015 through the end of 2017.

Elizabeth Frost, MD

Elizabeth Frost, M.D., is a family practice doctor working at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After graduating from residency at the University of Minnesota, Elizabeth spent almost a year volunteering with Doctors for Global Health in Chiapas, Mexico. She currently works with a heavily Latino and mostly uninsured population in Minneapolis, and is confronted daily with economic barriers to basic care. She co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program – Minnesota along with Dr. Ann Settgast.

John Crosson, MDC

John spent his entire medical career in hospitals devoted to delivering excellent medical care to the underserved first at Minneapolis General Hospital (the MGH of the midwest) and then eventually HCMC. He trained initially as an internist then decided to become a Pathologist. From the early 1970s to 2005 he worked at HCMC as a general Pathologist. During this time he saw many patients who suffered greatly because they had inadequate insurance and could not afford to be seen in the health care system in a timely way. For over 25 years he has worked on getting universal health care available for all in the US. Currently he spends his time at the U of Minnesota teaching medical students and residents. He mentions the need to have single payer health care to them every chance he gets.    

Cherryl Quick, LSW, MA

Cherryl Quick is a retired licensed medical social worker who worked in long term care and rehabilitation for 23 years. She was a lead social worker who mentored other social workers, facilitated a Parkinson’s Support group for over 15 years and facilitated a meditation group for many years. She worked with a diverse population of clients and staff. She received her BSW in Social Work from Bemidji State University and her MA in human development from St. Mary’s University. She began to actively participate in activism for social justice causes in 2017 with a particular focus on single payer health care that is accessible and affordable for the people of the Minnesota and the United States. She is a member of Health Care for All Minnesota HCAMN and is on the HCAMN Legislative committee.

Jenny Zhang, MD

Jenny is a currently in residency training at a Federally Qualified Health Center United Family Medicine in St. Paul, MN, serving and reminded on a daily basis of the barriers our patients and communities face when uninsured or underinsured. Jenny brings skills from her outreach work with the nonprofit FeelGood Berkeley and Student National Medical Association and is passionate about outreach for PNHP Minnesota. She was previously on the PNHP MN board as a medical student.