Please vote to confirm these candidates.

Board elections are held each year for open positions on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) and the Board of the Minnesota Academy of Pediatrics Foundation (MAPF).

MNAAP represents over 1,000 pediatricians and trainees in Minnesota and is a trusted voice on children's health issues at the Capitol.

Currently, the chapter is seeking to fill 3 board member openings for pediatricians or pediatrician specialists who want to help advance the chapter's mission of improving the health of all Minnesota children. The chapter is also asking members to confirm the nomination of the candidate for the position of president-elect. 
Ballots are due June 3, 2022. Thank you in advance for your vote and any comments you have. Please include your AAP member number or last name to validate your vote as required by our Bylaws.

Ballot names appear in alphabetical order. An interest statement provided by each candidate is included below the listing. Click “Done” at the bottom of the page to submit your ballot.

To view a list of current board members, visit

Question Title

* 1. MNAAP/MAPF President-Elect

Katie Smentek, MD, FAAP

Katie Smentek is a pediatrician at the Mankato Clinic, a 75 physician-owned multi-specialty clinic in Mankato.  She has been with the Mankato Clinic since 2007, serving on their Board of Directors for the last 8 years and taking on the role of COVID co-lead physician.  She attended medical school at U of MN- Duluth and graduated from the U of MN Medical School.  She completed her residency at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, serving an extra year as Chief Resident.  While in residency she received the CT-AAP Resident Advocacy Award in 2006.  She has been a member of the MNAAP since 2007, on the Board of Directors since 2019 and on the Executive Committee since 2021.

Katie is very active in her community, serving on many non-profit Boards, including the Children’s Museum of Southern MN, Greater Mankato Area United Way, and the Open Door Health Center.  She recently received the Greater Mankato Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.  Through her volunteer activities she strives to be a positive voice for children and children’s health in her community.  Dr. Smentek has been married to her husband Joe for 22 years and has 3 kind and mostly well-behaved kids.

She has always had a passion for advocacy, whether that means acting as the COVID medical consultant for the Mankato School district, working to pass Tobacco 21 in her region, or meeting with state legislators to protect vaccination laws.  Katie has worked to increase opportunities for all children and to break down barriers that impede children’s health and looks forward to acting even more at the state level.
Interest Statement Provided by Greater Minnesota Candidate

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* 2. Greater Minnesota Board Candidate(s) - Select One

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP - CentraCare (St. Cloud, MN)

My name is Dr. Jill Amsberry. I am a pediatrician and the current medical director for pediatrics at CentraCare in St. Cloud, MN.  I received a B.A. in Biology, Chemistry and Latin from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.  I completed medical school at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ.  I then moved back to the Midwest for pediatric residency at the University of Iowa. I am currently enrolled in a master’s in education program at Johns Hopkins University.  Over the last 11 years, I have had the honor of serving the children of Greater MN.  Since the COVID pandemic began, I have served on multiple Minnesota state workgroups to help advocate for equitable distribution of COVID vaccination to all Minnesotans. I have an inherent passion to improve the care for children in Minnesota and a unique perspective in serving both an urban and rural population. The pandemic has highlighted healthcare disparities and need for more equitable services.  It has also underscored the importance of relationships and collaboration to make constructive change.  A role within the MNAAP Board of Directors would provide an opportunity to utilize my role, resources, and relationships to expand healthcare activism beyond the walls of healthcare institutions.

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* 3. Twin Cities Board Candidates - Select Two

Interest Statements Provided by Metro-Area Candidates
Amy Borden, DO, FAAP - Children's Minnesota

As a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children’s Minnesota, I have the privilege of serving our diverse community and witnessing, in real-time, both the epidemiological trends as well as the social determinants that impact our patients and their families.

In addition, I am the adoptive mother to three young children of color and, as such, have a unique perspective, but also a deeply vested interest in making sure that we are creating a community in which all children can thrive. The past two years have brought considerable change for not only our patients and their families, but also for our community of physicians. In the changing healthcare and social landscape, I desire for a better outlet for advocacy, which I believe a board position with MNAAP would allow. I believe that my background in public and global health, as well as my position on the front lines of pediatric health care in Minnesota, would be an asset to the MNAAP Board, and I would appreciate the opportunity to further serve our community of physicians, patients, and their families.
Kiran Dwarakanath, MBBS, MRCPCH, FAAP - Children's Minnesota

I have always admired the role of AAP in advocating for children and the people who care for them. I am a father, teacher , physician and a tennis coach for my children. It is a huge responsibility to raise kids who are not only physically and mentally fit but also good human beings. I have had the opportunity to practice Pediatrics in 3 very different systems (India, UK and USA ) over the last 24 years . My wife is an elementary school teacher and we have 2 kids in middle school and acutely aware of the challenges of parenting especially as an immigrant.  I want to develop an awareness among parents regarding AAP and make it a reliable resource for parents and children.
Anjali Goel, MD, MPH, FAAP - University of Minnesota/ M Health Fairview

During the summer of 2020, I like most Americans was outraged at the murder of yet another black American Man by the police. At a White Coat for Black Lives sit-in at the Capitol I heard a colleague ask the question “what are you who are brown, who have been allowed to sit adjacent to whiteness, going to do?”. This question was a metaphorical kick in the gut. As a child of Indian immigrants what have I done to advance equity and what was I ready to sacrifice? This question has been my driving force as I realign my professional life with what matters to me most; justice for those that have been oppressed and deprived opportunities for living healthy lives.

My work is focused on reducing bias and eliminating discrimination in the health professions learning environment. I have also committed to greater advocacy in the community with the goal of partnering and getting out of the way to make space for the voices of our marginalized communities.  I believe that a position on the MNAAP Board of Directors will allow me to advance equity and justice for our communities whose humanity has been disregarded for too long.
David Piechota, MD, FAAP - Children's Minnesota

I would like to express my interest in serving on the MNAAP Board of Directors for the next 3 year period. I have always had an interest in advocacy and education regarding pediatric health and believe I would have a lot to offer. As a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician I would have a different perspective to provide concerning issues arising in the pediatric population in Minnesota and the twin cities. I have a great sense of humor, and am dedicated and passionate towards pediatric health and safety, something I strive for everyday in the emergency department. I have worked on several committees in the past, and found the experience enjoyable and that I would have a lot to provide, and learn from the MNAAP Board of Directors experience.

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* 4. This ballot is confidential. Your name or member number is required to ensure election integrity according to the organization's Bylaws. Please provide your name or AAP number. 

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* 5. Do you have other nominees for Board positions that should be forwarded for consideration for 2023-24?