HWLI Staff

Program faculty and staff are located at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

Lesley Wolf - Program Director

Lesley provides public and community health leadership training, education and technical assistance to support local agendas for community health improvement. The goal of HWLI is to strengthen leadership capacity for creating partnerships, policy, and system changes that ensure every Wisconsin community reaches its full health potential. Lesley’s program interests are the social determinants of health and health equity; grassroots community organizing; strategic planning and implementation of public health policy.

Lesley has been providing training and technical assistance to communities across Wisconsin through the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute since November of 2008.

Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Lesley served as the Sales Manager for Homegrown Wisconsin Cooperative. In this capacity, she supported Wisconsin organic vegetable growers as a liaison to chefs in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison and worked with communities to develop localized food systems. Lesley completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2012 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Lesley also has experience as a volunteer facilitator for the YWCA’s Racial Justice Workshop Series and as a white Caucus facilitator for the White Privilege Conference.

Ann McCall, MSW - Outreach & Partnerships Lead

Ann McCall leads Outreach and Partnerships efforts for the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute (HWLI). In this role, Ann works to build infrastructure to support communities through coordination and alignment with partners around the state. She also manages HWLI’s communications and outreach efforts.

Ann has a Master of Social Work and is currently completing her Master of Public Health, both from UW-Madison. Prior to graduate school, she was based in Washington, DC and in Boston, where she worked for both local and national non-profit organizations, primarily focused on public health and women’s health. Since moving to Wisconsin in 2009, she has worked in a variety of outreach and research capacities at UW-Madison, including several roles devoted directly to working with communities around the state.

Ann’s program and research interests are in community capacity building, health equity and the social determinants of health, public health policy, communications and non-profit management. Ann was a founding board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia while living in Washington, DC, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health.

Stephanie Richards, MPH - Community Teams Program Lead

Stephanie Richards is an Outreach Specialist with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Stephanie is the Community Teams Program Lead and as well as the Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship Program Lead. Stephanie completed her Masters of Public Health at UW-Madison and earned her Bachelors of Social Work at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Stephanie served as an Outreach Specialist for the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS). While at CHESS, she trained and coached process improvement collaboratives in 8 states, studied smart phone apps designed to support recovery, worked with Wisconsin communities to help older adults stay in their place of choice safer and longer, and helped state departments of behavioral health change policies to make better use of technology in addiction treatment.

Stephanie’s research and program interests include asset-based community engagement, quality improvement, behavioral health, program evaluation, social media, and mobile health.

Shor Salkas, MPH - COACH Program Lead

Shor is a Community Coach and the COACH Program Lead with the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute. Shor graduated from the University of Minnesota-School of Public Health with an emphasis on LGBTQ health and community health promotion. Shor is interested in community health, the intersectionality between health equity work and health disparities work and social justice. 

Shor works with communities to harness their strengths and build on them through strategic capacity building and coaching. In their coaching work, Shor centers collaborative leadership, equity, strengths-based approaches, and elevating the voices and needs of those most impacted by systemic oppression. Shor believes that communities already have the wisdom to make big change, and Shor feels humbled to be a part of their journey. 

Maria Schirmer - Community Coach

Maria Schirmer is a Community Coach with the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute. Currently, she is in graduate school pursing her Master of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. Prior to HWLI, Maria worked at the Rape Crisis Center (RCC) in Dane County for five years leading the Education and Prevention Department. While at RCC, Maria designed and implemented a Youth Advisory Board for teens working to end rape culture, developed an outreach volunteering program, and created Safer Bar, a bystander intervention curriculum designed for bar staff to create a safer environment for patrons and reduce instances of gender-based violence. Maria also worked at Wellstone Action, training audiences nationwide on grassroots organizing and coalition building and developed their first High School Camp Wellstone.     

Maria’s research interests include: social justice, particularly examining the intersections of race and gender, youth-based organizing, trauma informed care, and art therapy. As a Wisconsin native, Maria is passionate about changing health inequities in the state so that health and wellbeing are not just for a few, but for all!

Sydney Garfinkel - Intern

Sydney Garfinkel is a second semester senior at UW studying international studies and French, with a certificate in global health. She is passionate about studying international dilemmas and how intersections of a country's economy, society and politics affect their populations' health. She has previously worked at an NGO that provides microfinance loans and child sponsorship programs to women and children in areas of both the Philippines and Uganda. Sydney has also travelled to Uganda with the university to work on mobile clinics and administer basic health care in rural villages. Upon graduation Sydney hopes to work for a large NGO or think tank, teach English in France, or continue her passion for global health by working in a developing nation. In her free time she loves running, live music, and all things having to do with eating, food and food culture. She is excited to be working for the Population Health Institute and hopes to gain knowledge and experience about public health work before embarking on her post-graduation life! 

Lindsey Borleske - Intern

Lindsey Borleske is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying International Studies with a focus in Global Security and pursuing a certificate in Middle East Studies. She is originally from The U.P. in Marquette, Michigan but was raised in Madison, WI. Lindsey was introduced to HWLI through a previous Fellow and has loved learning about the overlap of social issues with public health issues in Wisconsin. With her international studies training, Lindsey is fascinated by similarities between public health and social justice issues in her home state of Wisconsin and the same issues seen around the world that continue to deny and hinder the security of life for many individuals around the world. 

Lindsey is  very excited to be studying abroad this Spring semester in Fez, Morocco, where she will be completing an Arabic Intensive Program and hopes to incorporate research on issues that arise from developmental shifts that clash with tradition within Morocco.