Region 6 State Advisory Groups (SAG)

The purpose of Region 6 State Advisory Groups (SAG) is to provide leadership guidance for each state’s outreach and engagement activities conducted by Region 6 staff and Partner Outreach Program (POP) members. The SAG charge is two-fold:

  1. To guide the development and implementation of an action plan for each state in Region 6 that addresses how NNLM can support specific health disparities identified as priorities for that state, with a focus on medically underserved populations.
  2. To develop strategic recommendations, programs, and relationships that advance the health of communities through equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data.

Specifically, members of the Advisory Group will provide three core services:

  • Identify Opportunities
    • Provide input on communities that would most benefit from NNLM and NLM products and services
    • Recommend organizations to join NNLM
    • Offer ideas and input on potential partnerships with organizations in the state
    • Advise on potential conferences, health fairs, or other public events that would benefit from an NNLM Region 6 presence
  • Provide Feedback
    • Review and offer guidance on effective messaging and outreach from R6
    • Develop recommendations for ongoing communications across the state from R6
    • Consult with R6 on the development and implementation of any state-wide assessments
  • Align Activities
    • Decide on select priority health topics for the state that align with NNLM initiatives and priorities
    • Develop state action plan to guide Region 6 training, funding, and engagement activities

We are always accepting applications for new members. If you are interested in becoming a member of your state's SAG, contact

Adam Roloff
Reference and Education Services Librarian
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Felicia Barrett
Regional Head Librarian
University of Illinois Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences at Rockford

Gregory Scott
RN Manager-Faith Community Health
Carle Health

Joe Filapek
Director of Continuing Education and Consulting
Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)

Monica Rodriguez
Senior Director
Pyxis Partners

Q. Eileen Wafford
Research Librarian
Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center

Sharon Comstock
Teaching Assistant Professor University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tracy Smith
Director of Community Health and Programs
Illinois Public Health Association

Jacqueline Leskovec
Network Coordinator
NNLM Region 6

Aisha Hallman
Allen County Public Library

Amy Minix
Neuro- and Health Sciences Librarian
Indiana University Bloomington

Carla R. Clayton
Wellness Coordinator
Community Health Network

Helen Azarian
Reference Librarian
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library

Kara Cleveland
Director of Professional Development
Indiana State Library

Karen Strandjord
Family Caregiver and Nursing Educator
IU Health

Olanike Olaniyi
Collection Development Librarian
The Indianapolis Public Library

Rachel Ashcraft
Flora Public Library

William Cooke
Physician, Foundations Family Medicine
Clark Memorial Health

Darlene Kaskie
Community Engagement Coordinator
Region 6

Abby Less
Community Health Consultant,
Iowa Department of Public Health, Office of Health Care Transformation

Angie Doyle Scar
Executive Officer
Office of Healthcare Transformation
Iowa Department of Public

Becky Heil
District Consultant
State Library of Iowa

Cynthia J Fiester
Chronic Disease Coordinator/Registered Nurse
Linn County Public Health (LCPH), Cedar Rapids

Gina Schlesselman-Tarango
Science Librarian
Grinnell College

Jennie Ver Steeg
Director of Library and Media Services
Mercy College of Health Sciences and MercyOne, Des Moines

Lisa Johnson
Orange City Library

Mara Strickler
Pella Public Library

Riley Samuelson
Education & Outreach Librarian
University of Iowa

Sam Helmick
Community and Access Services Coordinator
Iowa City Public Library

Staci Stanton
Programming and Outreach Manager
Urbandale Public Library

Tyler Hahn
Cherokee Public Library

Bobbi Newman
Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist
NNLM Region 6

Anne Heidemann 
Tribal Librarian 
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Libraries

Chana Kraus-Friedberg 
Health Sciences Librarian 
Michigan State University

Deborah Smith 
Wellness Inx

Jarrod Irwin 
Behavioral and Health Sciences Librarian 
Eastern Michigan University

Kevin King 
East Lansing Public Library

Susan Kroll 
Charlevoix Public Library

Sherri McConnell 
Head Librarian 
Stockbridge Branch, Capital Area District Libraries

Erica Lake 
Health Sciences Librarians Outreach Specialist
Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 6


Julie Flathers
Statewide Health Improvement Partnership
Clearwater County Public Health

Katherine Chew
Associate Librarian
Research/Outreach Services & Mortuary Science, Center for Allied Health Programs and Center for Bioethics Librarian
University of Minnesota Health Sciences Library

Lisa Sanders
Patient Education Specialist
Essentia Health

Monica Taylor-Desir
Consultant Department of Psychiatry and Psychology
Mayo Clinic

Naomi Carlson
Development Specialist, Transportation Planner, SHIP School Coordinator
Headwaters Regional Development Commission

Nicole Miller
Library Director
Cannon Falls Library

Rosemond Owens
Director of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Center for Prevention
Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota

Erica Lake 
Health Sciences Librarians Outreach Specialist
Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 6

Julie Chaya
Director of Community Health and Prevention Sciences
Richland Public Health Department

Margaret A. Hoogland
Assistant Professor, Clinical Medical Librarian
University of Toledo

Monique Mason
Manager, Science & Technology Division
Akron Public Library

Neil Nero
Medical Librarian
Cleveland Clinic

Rhyanne McDade
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
Northern Kentucky University

Sharon Purtee
Cataloging Librarian
University of Cincinnati - Health Sciences Library

Tiffany Grant
Assistant Director for Research and Informatics
University of Cincinnati - Health Sciences Library

Yvonka M. Hall
Executive Director
Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition

Darlene Kaskie
Community Engagement Coordinator
NNLM Region 6

Bhumi Khambholja
Project Manager
Wisconsin Health Literacy

Elizabeth Miniatt
Library Director
D.R. Moon Memorial Library

Caitlyn Mowatt
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Northern Highland Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Anna Perez-Pelaez
Case Manager
Capital BlueCross

Darren Rausch
Health Officer/Director
Greenfield Health Department

Ashley Zeidler
Reference Librarian
Medical College of Wisconsin

Darlene Kaskie
Community Engagement Coordinator
NNLM Region 6

Each of the seven SAG group members spent year 2 discovering their state's health priorities and developing action plans, ranging from dental health to menstrual health and everything in between. Provided here are the action plans approved for each state. One funding opportunity, several tool kits, and a  partnering with a physician/author regarding addiction and recovery were created.


The Illinois SAG Outreach Award was designed to improve health literacy and increase health equity throughout the state of Illinois. The award closed 15 May 2023 and was awarded Northern Illinois University School of Nursing for the Smart Tablet Education for Healthy Living (STEHL) Project in the amount of $10,000. Primary Investigator, Dr Anitha Saravanan, will direct the project, built on a previous project recently funded by an NNLM and All of Us research award which was completed in April of this year. The project will engage older adults to help them become more comfortable with technology designed to assist them in finding quality health information online. Dr Saravanan and her team launched the project August 2023 and completed it this summer A blog article, STEHL Project Smart Tablet Education For Healthy Living for Older Adults; a webinar recording; and the STEHL Website are all available for review. 


Indiana will partner with Dr. William Cooke, physician and author of Canary in the Coal Mine, to publicly engage with communities throughout Indiana for addiction and recovery information. The objectives are to raise understanding for the social determinants of health that contribute to substance use; explain interventions, such as harm reduction, that can lead to clinical treatment and recovery resources; and help individuals and communities respond compassionately for persons living with and recovering from addiction. Indiana Addiction and Recovery Information Program.


Iowa's Community Partnerships for Mental Health initiative aims to achieve three key objectives. First, it focuses on developing a comprehensive toolkit as a valuable resource for promoting mental health in communities. This toolkit includes a user-friendly website/guide on, customizable bookmarks with local information, a concise one-page guide for quick reference, programming ideas, and training materials for library staff. 
We will train library staff, community partners, and stakeholders on utilizing the toolkit efficiently. Participants how to locate and share mental health resources, identify potential community partners and implement programming ideas. A campaign promoting the toolkit will lead up to community programs during Mental Health Awareness Month, May of 2023.


The Michigan SAG developed a mental health resource kit for NNLM member libraries in Michigan to serve as a blueprint for supporting people with mental health and substance use conditions: State of Michigan Advisory Group for NNLM R6 Project Mental Health Resource Kit for NNLM Member Libraries.


The State of Minnesota Advisory Group for NNLM R6 bonded to promote crisis resource information: Partnering to Promote Mental Health Crisis Information Across Minnesota.  


Ohio will partner with Aunt Flow, a Columbus-based non-profit to develop culturally- and age-appropriate health information to educate about period poverty and menstrual health. The goal is to promote the toolkit to public and school libraries and community centers throughout the state. Ohio Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Information Project


Wisconsin will partner with D R Moon Library in Stanley, Wisconsin. Elizabeth Miniatt, the library director, has a long-standing relationship with the Amish communities in her region. Because of this important connection, she will lead the development of an oral and dental health book that is trustworthy, easy-to-read and comprehend. A dental student and a local artist will develop the content and illustrate the book with approval from the local Bishops. The books will be distributed to the local Amish schools including train-the-trainer instruction for the school teachers. Wisconsin Dental and Oral Care Health Information Project and Logic Model


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  • Michigan Mental Health Training Kit
    Mental health is a significant public health concern impacting all demographics in Michigan. According to 2021 data from the National Alliance of Mental Illness, over 1,4600 adults in Michigan experience mental health conditions, while 119,000 adolescents aged 12-17 in Michigan are affected by depression. The Michigan Mental Health Training Kit was created to address this gap. This resource is designed to support librarians, library workers, and front-line library staff across Michigan by enhancing their understanding of both crisis and non-crisis mental health situations. Its goal is to increase their confidence in responding to the mental health needs of library visitors.



  • Know Your Flow
    Ohio partnered with Aunt Flow, a Columbus-based non-profit to develop culturally- and age-appropriate health information to educate about period poverty and menstrual health. The goal is to promote the toolkit to public and school libraries and community centers throughout the state. Some resources include: FAQ, Marketing Toolkit, Flyer, Sticker