Sara Hollie named Director of Public Health
Sara Hollie has been appointed Director of Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health. She has served as Racial and Health Equity Administrator for the county’s Health and Wellness Service Team since April 2019.
Ms. Hollie’s 17-year career in state and local government, and at the community health services level as a public health practitioner and community advocate, spans work in maternal and child health, health policy, chronic and infectious disease prevention, health promotion, health equity, community, and family health. She begins work as Public Health Director on July 26, 2021.
“Sara’s expertise and understanding of community in Ramsey County including racial, ethnic, age and geographic-based disparities and her track record of fostering collaborative, positive community relationships make her the right fit to lead Public Health through these challenging times,” said Health and Wellness Deputy County Manager Kathy Hedin.
As Racial and Health Equity Administrator, Hollie led the Health and Wellness Service Team in advancing racial and health equity by advising and guiding systems change and capacity building with staff at all levels with an emphasis on shared power and decision making with racially and ethnically diverse residents. She also co-directed the creation of the county’s COVID-19 Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team (RECERT) and Equity Action Circle (EAC).
“I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to develop a shared-vision for Public Health that is targeted towards improving the health of communities most impacted by race/ethnic-based disparities, and social determinants of health,” said Hollie. “I look forward to working with community and staff to further build a culture of collaboration and influence that drives forward the public health vision and mission with creativity and innovation at all levels, and that is intentional in centering and connecting community through shared-decision making that truly impacts the overall health and wellness of residents in Ramsey County.”
Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health's 330 employees provide a range of services to protect and improve the health of people and the environment in Ramsey County. Department staff work with partners to vaccinate and educate the community to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other disease, protect against environmental hazards, prevent injuries, promote and encourage healthy behaviors, plan and respond to health emergencies, and ensure the quality and accessibility of health services.
Hollie has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and a master’s degree in public health administration and policy, both from the University of Minnesota. She and her family live in Minneapolis. She will succeed Hedin who has served in a dual capacity as Public Health Director and Deputy County Manager since her promotion in November 2020.
One of the largest local public health departments in the state, Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health traces its origins to the appointment of the first public health officer by the City of Saint Paul in 1854. Saint Paul and Ramsey County’s public health departments merged in 1997 through a joint powers agreement. The department is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board.