Apr 29, 2019

This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Kirsten Krane, MS-MPH, RDN, Project Manager for CHEER. Kirsten started working for CHEER in 2014 and has done an excellent job managing a wide variety of projects. Sadly, Kirsten will be ending her work with us on May 3, 2019. We’d like to honor and thank her for all her wonderful contributions!

“CHEER has done a lot of great work, and I’ve been really fortunate to have been a part of it!” shares Kirsten.

Kirsten’s work has spanned across the nation, encompassing our American Indian/Alaska Native health projects, our early Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (CHAMPS) work, and our more recent Mississippi CHAMPS work. When Kirsten first began with CHEER, she helped manage our first CHAMPS initiative, which focused on assisting hospitals across 4 states (Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee) with achieving Baby-Friendly status. Then, she helped when CHAMPS began our project to assist tribally-operated birthing facilities in Alaska, Arizona, and Oklahoma to achieve Baby-Friendly status as well. Kirsten has also managed CHEER community health assessments in Native communities in Montana; and data and evaluation projects in Native communities around domestic violence prevention, suicide prevention, substance use prevention, and youth empowerment. Kirsten has worked collaboratively with hospitals on improving their substance use treatment practices with pregnant women, and assisting those hospitals to build community support and momentum around this work. Lastly, Kirsten has coached hospitals in our MS CHAMPS program, and many hospital staff have expressed gratitude for Kirsten’s consistent encouragement and support. To all her work, Kirsten brought a tremendous amount of positive energy and enthusiasm.

“My favorite part of working with CHEER has been getting to be a member of an incredibly dedicated team of people who are working on really important health and equity projects across the nation. I also love getting to know all of the different people and communities that we engage with through our work. It really grounds me to connect with people who show up for their jobs every day and go above and beyond to make their communities better places to live,” Kirsten says.

Prior to CHEER, Kirsten worked as a Public Health Nutritionist for the Indian Health Service in Browning, Montana; helped lead the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at the Blackfeet Community Hospital; served in the Peace Corps in Guyana, South America; and worked for WIC and as a clinical dietitian. Kirsten is a founding board member of FAST Blackfeet, a non-profit on the Blackfeet Nation working to educate and advocate for changes to the local food system to create food sovereignty for the Nation and food security for individuals in the community. She served for 4 years as Chair for the Public Policy Committee for the Montana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is still active with the committee.

Congratulations and farewell, Kirsten! Best wishes and thank you for all your work!