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Our Team

Our Team

Juechee Yang
DONOR COORDINATOR

Juechee Yang joined the milk bank spring of 2022. She supports the milk bank’s mission and is always “bringing it back to the babies.” Having breastfed her children, she understands the many challenges, stigmas, and cultural differences there can be for mothers who nurse and continue to nurse. She looks forward to highlighting the mamas who can donate their glorious milk. “Breastfeeding reminds us of the universal truth of abundance: the more we give out, the more we are filled up, and that divine nourishment – the source from which we all draw – is, like a mother’s breast, ever full and ever flowing.” – Sarah Buckley

Tina Louks-Raatz
Clinical Donor Coordinator Manager

Tina Louks-Raatz joined the milk bank and donor coordinator team in 2021. She is committed to increasing access for all families to receive the support and resources needed to reach their breast milk feeding goals. Tina earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Winona State University and began her career as a registered nurse working with families and their new babies in a baby-friendly hospital. So, her passion for all things breast milk and breastfeeding began. Tina has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for just over 5 years now and is committed to improving world health, one breast milk-fed baby at a time.

Venedia Campbell
PASTEURIZER TECHNICIAN

Venedia Campbell joined the team in December 2021 as a Pasteurizer. Venedia is a native of Minneapolis and an involved member of her community. She is also a childbirth worker and currently enrolled in the Nursing program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Her passion is helping and informing moms on the importance of breast milk and prenatal care.

Kiana Maxwell
PASTEURIZER TECHNICIAN

Kiana Maxwell joined the team in February of 2022 as a pasteurization technician. She is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota where she studied Developmental Psychology and Public Health. Currently, Kiana is also a research assistant at the Culture and Family Life Lab and the Human Capital Research Collaborative. Her interests embrace maternal and infant health, cultural engagement, and serving the Philippine community of Minnesota.

Pamela Heggie
MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Dr. Heggie worked with the original founders to help begin the Milk Bank. She became Medical Director in 2017. She is a Pediatrician and Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist and a strong advocate for breastfeeding equity and donor human milk for all in need. She is also an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota.

Lilly Nystel
PASTEURIZER TECHNICIAN

Lilly Nystel joined the Milk Bank in May of 2022 as a pasteurizer technician. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Microbiology and has continued her education at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, where she is studying epidemiology. As for the future Lilly hopes to pursue a public health career that involves infectious diseases related to maternal and child health.

Linda Hsiung Dech
Executive Director

Linda Hsiung Dech joined the Milk Bank in September 2019 as the Executive Director. She is one of the founders of the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition and has served as the Peer Breastfeeding Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. In addition to having a public health background, she is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 20 years of work in breastfeeding advocacy and support.

Jason Foss
Depot Coordinator & Lab Manager

Jason Foss joined the milk bank in September 2019 and is the Depot Coordinator and Lab Manager. He earned his MPH degree in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Minnesota. Jason did his undergraduate work at Oregon State University in Microbiology. In addition to his lab and public health experience, Jason has been a longtime volunteer for the Children’s Miracle Network in the area of fundraising through social media, special events, and community organizing.

Mellisa Vang
Office Coordinator

Mellisa Vang has been handling administrative roles with the milk bank since June 2021. Prior to her joining the team, she was an elementary youth worker and a certified postpartum doula working with babies in the comfort of their own homes where emotional and physical support was offered to families.  She understands that the process of breastfeeding does not come easily for everyone or opted out for several reasons in which she is grateful to take part of a mission that ensures babies have access to pasteurized donor human milk. Mellisa is a proud Hmong-American and holds a Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration degree from Metropolitan State University.

Diana Schleisman
Finance

Diana Schleisman joined the team in June 2021 and is enthused to support the Milk Bank and its important mission. Diana Schleisman is a lifelong Minnesotan and has an Associates Degree in Business and Certificate in Human Resources from Normandale. She created her self-designed major in Nonprofit Management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of MN. She has served in Management and Consultant roles with small, local nonprofits.

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