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Sommer Scholars

Anne Kanyusik Yoakum, JD, MPH

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • MPH '11

Anne Kanyusik is no stranger to women in crisis. She has staffed domestic violence and sexual abuse hotlines in three states, facilitated support groups for women and conducted extensive legal research on the abuse of women’s rights through human trafficking. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Bangladesh, she promoted the vaccination campaign that ended endemic polio in that country—and saw that women, no matter where or how they live, play a key role in keeping their families and their communities safe and healthy.

“Women display resourcefulness and resiliency, persevering through circumstances that would defeat the strongest among us,” Kanyusik says. “They improve their lives and those around them day after day.”

Kanyusik’s passion for protecting women’s health and improving the developing world has guided every step of her personal and professional journey. As an attorney, she focused on health care and nonprofit law. With a significant portion of global public health activities funded by governments and nonprofit organizations, her legal practice has deepened her understanding of how the health care system operates. Now, returning to the classroom, she can blend her professional skills with her dream—to build strong nonprofit and government institutions that promote women’s health and provide women in crisis, particularly those in Asia and Latin America, with the resources they need.

“Giving women the tools they need to maintain their own health permits them in turn to build healthier futures for their children, families and communities,” says Kanyusik. “Working in this area will have impacts far beyond the individuals with whom I interact.”

Current Position

Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, Hennepin Health