Kara Ulmen is a senior research assistant in the early childhood development area at the Minneapolis office. She completed her MPH in maternal and child health along with a program evaluation minor from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As a graduate student, Kara worked with the Wyoming Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Unit, to complete a qualitative analysis in order to better understand how WDH could effectively promote the use of Bright Futures Guidelines, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. As a student worker for the state, she gained an in-depth understanding of various home visiting models and their impact on overall parent and child health. During this time, she assisted with a Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting needs assessment and statewide continuous quality improvement efforts. She has also served as a team lead on a multi-site intervention study that sought to assess the impact of best practice strategies to expand school breakfast programs on student breakfast participation rates, BMI, and overall caloric intake. Home visiting, access to and quality of substance disorder treatment for pregnant women and mothers, and universal preschool are topics of particular interest to Kara, with the overall hope to improve early childhood outcomes for all and bridge gaps among marginalized communities.
In her spare time, Kara loves to snowboard in the winter and garden in the spring/summer. She always enjoys cooking, hanging out with friends and her husband, and now spending time with her new baby niece.