Sandy is Mdewakanton Dakota and grew up on Lower Sioux Reservation located near Morton, Minnesota. She has been in the nursing profession for 36 years. Sandy completed her bachelors in nursing (BSN) at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and her master of art (MA) in transcultural nursing at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN.
Sandy’s nursing career has spanned long-term care, clinic and hospital care settings as well as Human Resources. While at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin for the past 27 years, Sandy has taken on a variety of leadership roles across the health system, including 10 years as executive director of hospital operations. Her current role is executive consultant in Human Resources with a primary focus on Gundersen’s diversity and inclusion activities. Sandy notes that her current work brings together her clinical operational knowledge, leadership experience and transcultural nursing skills to guide workforce priorities, clinical improvement for diverse patients served and fosters relationships between her organization and the surrounding communities.
Sandy has been an active contributor for many academic, state and national nursing initiatives related to diversity and Native American nursing priorities. She is committed to fostering the next generation of nurses and healthcare leaders by mentoring students and colleagues as they discover their professional path in healthcare. She has served two terms as a board member of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA) and currently represents NANAINA as the Treasurer of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association (NCEMNA). Sandy was honored to have co-authored with her dear friend, the late Dr. Roxanne Struthers, “The Essence of Native American Nursing” in 1999.
Sandy has been married to her husband Greg for 34 years; they have children and grandchildren that light up their life. Sandy is an avid golfer and enjoys beading caps and visors for her family and friends!
Lisa Martin, PhD, RN, PHN, AHN-BC is an Associate Professor with St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and a member of the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin. Lisa began her academic career at the University of Minnesota as a research assistant with the Center for Adolescent Nursing and as a science administrator with the American Indian Alaska Native MS to PhD Nursing Science Bridge Project established to double the number of American Indian nurses with PhD degrees in the US. Prior to the University of Minnesota she worked as a public health nurse in inner city areas, and as a clinical educator, nursing supervisor, and project manager with several interdisciplinary public health programs. Her areas of interest include: diabetes prevention in American Indian youth, holistic nursing and integrative healthcare, and cross cultural competence.
Dr. Martin has several years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing. In addition to her passion for teaching, she has experience building research partnerships with American Indian communities. Her doctoral dissertation described the experiences of American Indian adolescents living with Type 2 diabetes. Her current research looks closely at American Indian youth living with overweight, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Dr. Martin earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Master of Science in Nursing Administration and PhD in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is board certified as an advanced holistic nurse. She currently serves on the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis Board of Directors, the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association Board of Directors, and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Lisa lives with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota and in the summer enjoys returning to the Lac Du Flambeau and Lake Superior areas
Member of the Lower Sioux (Cansayapi) Indian Community in Morton, MN.
Graduate of St. Catherine University BSN program 2017. I am a new grad working
for Indian Health Service in Browning, MT on a Medical/Surgical unit. I aspire to
become a pediatric nurse and potential Nurse Practitioner in the future.
Dr. Lisa Martin, PhD, RN (Lac du Flambeau Band of Chippewa)
Dr. Misty L. Wilkie, PhD, RN (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)
Pelagie “Mike” Snesrud is a retired CAPT, U.S. Public Health Service. Mike is a Registered Nurse, BSN and Certified Public Health Nurse with 35 years nursing experience, primarily in public health administration with over 29 years of experience working with Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, and tribal health programs. She has a distinguished record of effective leadership working with Tribal Communities and Tribal Governments, local, state, regional, and national public health programs and agencies. Mike has demonstrated her capabilities and strengths through various leadership positions she has held including her last duty assignment as Senior Tribal Liaison, CDC’s Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support and her long term previous assignment as Director of Public Health Nursing for the Fond du Lac Reservation Human Services Division.
Mike’s tribal affiliation is Dakota from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe. Additional past experiences and skills include those related with fiscal management, strategic planning, program design and implementation, strong oral and written communication, and management and operational practices that assure effective collaboration.
Currently Mike is enjoying retirement and aggressively building a new career as a fulltime Grandma to eleven beautiful and active grandchildren as well as having time to do lots of hiking, biking, and frequent traveling.
Sandy Littlejohn, MA, BSN, RN (Mdewakanton Dakota)
Tasha Peterman grew up in Wrangell, Alaska and is Kaach.ádi from Shax’héen
Kwáan. Tasha graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with her
Associate Degree in Nursing in 2010, and will graduate from Chamberlain
University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in February 2018. She is board
certified as a registered nurse and is currently working as a nurse case manager in Wasilla, Alaska. Tasha lives with her husband in Palmer, Alaska and enjoys packrafting, hiking, hunting, and camping.
Dr. Misty Wilkie is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Indians in North Dakota. She grew up on multiple reservations in North Dakota,
South Dakota and Minnesota. She began her nursing education in an Associate
degree RN program (Hibbing Community College) in 1997, completed an RN-BS
(Bemidji State University) in 2001, a master’s in nursing (University of North Dakota) in 2003 and a PhD (University of Minnesota) in Nursing in 2009.
For the past 12 years she has been a college instructor. She has taught in ADN, BSN, and MSN programs. She currently is an Associate Professor at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. Recently, she received a $2 million dollar grant for a 4-year project from HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity to recruit, retain, graduate and license American Indian students in nursing. Niganawenimaanaanig (We take care of them) provides social, cultural, academic and financial support to American Indian nursing students at Bemidji State University.
Her research interests are organ donation and transplantation, particularly in American Indians, and recruitment, retention, and graduation strategies for minorities in nursing. Dr. Wilkie seeks to educate tribal communities on the organ donation and transplantation process to increase the number of organ donors. As a minority nurse, she is interested in mentoring minority students seeking a career in health care and diversifying the nursing workforce to improve health outcomes for these populations.
Dr. Wilkie resides in Minnesota with her husband, Rich, and her two youngest children, Quinn and Avaya. Her oldest, Zachary, is an elementary school teacher. In her free time, she enjoys being with family, reading, sewing, and walking/running outside when the weather cooperates.
NANAINA currently has a secretary position.