County Health Conference Focuses on "Power of Perspective"

Taylor Holt
October 12, 2017 10:51 PM

"The Power of Perspective" was the theme at this year's St. Louis County Health and Human Service Conference. Hundreds of Northland professionals in the health sector attended day one of the conference.

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"We're the safety net for people," said Linnea Mirsch, Director of Public Health and Human Services for St. Louis County. "We support and improve lives in our community through the vital programs and services that we provide like prevention and broad public health efforts."

Helping local professionals figure out ways to better serve the community is the purpose of their annual conference.

"I just thought it was a really cool opportunity to learn," said Tessa Mankus, a Senior at the College of St. Scholastica. She is going into the field of social work. "I wanted to get into the field to help people, that was my main thing."

"All the people that are coming here are trying to increase their knowledge, their skills and abilities working with people," said Mary Bridget Lawson, Conference Chair and Staff Development Specialist for SLC Public Health and Human Services.

More than 100 vendors were on hand Thursday for everything from training and networking to addressing health and human service issues and concerns.

"It's really about, though, the heart of people in renewing to make sure people are really present and really able to serve people that are in really desperate situations," said Lawson.

Lawson has put the conference on for the past 26 years. This is her final one before she retires. She says she's seen how it has grown from when she first started.

"It's gone from 500 (in the beginning) to 3,000 actually over these two days, so exponential growth," Lawson added. 

However, the needs are also growing as well.

"The complexity of our work is always changing and then the needs in different areas are changing as well," said Mirsch.

The goal is that these conferences can continue to help meet those needs, and provide opportunities for those taking on their roles in the future.

"There are a lot of opportunities in the field of public health and human services and our students are going to be the ones filling those shoes," said Lawson.

The event is a two-day conference.


Taylor Holt

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