Joann Usher (Email)
Joann Usher is the Vice President External Relations at JustUs Health. She was the Executive Director of Rainbow Health Initiative from 2012-2018.
Joann has over 30 years of non-profit management and fund-raising experience having served in a variety of organizations from a graduate theological school, to social services and the arts. She began her engagement in the LGBTQ community as Executive Director of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus.
Beyond her professional commitment to social justice she also fulfills that commitment in her volunteer work. She has been involved with local LGBT organizations and for 10 years served on the board of GALA Choruses, Inc., an international association of GLBT choruses, two years as President of the Board.
She and her wife Connie, live on ‘the lake’ in a near metro suburb with their two dogs. They love being on the water and sharing their lives with their three grandchildren.
Darin Rowles (Email)
Darin Rowles, the Director of Integrated Services, is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker with a focus on multi-cultural macro practice and human service management. His work experience in the field includes over 20 years of HIV prevention and service work including roles as a caregiver, case manager, program manager and director. Darin has attended countless trainings over the years to understand medical concerns with HIV, the psycho-social impact of HIV on diverse populations, HIV stigma, resources for people living with HIV and delivering comprehensive HIV risk assessments to diverse populations. He has developed and delivered HIV informational sessions to various groups including providers, clients and the general community. Darin has also done focused work in the mental health field, delivering interventions to people in the midst of mental health crisis and stabilization. All of these experiences have included work with significant numbers of clients who struggle with chemical dependency. When not working, Darin renews his energy by enjoying live music, dancing to and chatting about the music of Prince, and geeking out to all things in the Star Wars galaxy.
Matt Toburen (Email)
Matt Toburen, the Director of Public Policy, leads JustUs Health’s efforts in policy development, legislative lobbying and community organizing to stop new HIV infections and ensure all Minnesotans living with HIV live long and healthy lives. Matt is an experienced lobbyist, organizer and campaign strategist. He brings lobbying expertise from legislative, administrative, and local initiatives. Matt has worked as a lobbyist and political director for the Service Employees International Union. He has also held a variety of positions, including time as staff for the Minnesota Senate, managing political campaigns, and as a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer. He holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. When not fighting to end AIDS, you can find Matt at home playing hide and seek with his wife and two daughters.
Doug Melroe (Email)
You may recognize JustUs Health's Director of Advancement Doug Melroe as “that crazy guy who does the warm up for the AIDS Walk every year.” Doug has been proud to lead the warm-up stretch before every MN AIDS Walk since 1986. Now, he is even prouder to be The Director of Advancement for JustUs Health. He comes to us from The Firm, where he has worked for 30 years as an instructor and manager. Throughout those thirty years, he has remained passionate about the fight against HIV, and remembering those he has lost. His passion for ending HIV has lead him to participate in The Red Ribbon Ride and his team has raised over $300,000.00 in the past seven years. He is originally from Fargo North Dakota, he and his partner Denny Kemp live in Golden Valley and have three dogs….yes three.
Lynn Mickelson (Email)
Lynn Mickelson, ESQ., the Co-Director of Legal and Benefits Counseling Services, has managed the JustUs Health (formerly Minnesota AIDS Project) Legal Program since 1995. She is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and is responsible for the development of program policies and procedures; the provision of direct legal services to clients; the training, recruitment and maintenance of a network of volunteer attorneys; and supervision of student interns. The Legal Program serves any Minnesotan living with HIV and Minnesotans affected by HIV.
Phil Duran (Email)
Phil Duran is the Co-Director of Legal Services. Phil Duran is a 2000 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. After graduation, he spent 18 years as the legal director at OutFront Minnesota, where he developed a passion for advocacy for LGBT people, particularly in the area of trans health and human rights. He has been a member of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the City’s Transgender Issues Workgroup, and of Governor Mark Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying. He was a founding board member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association and served as the first out president of the Minnesota State Bar Association, where he remains a member of its Health Law Section.
Asneth Omare (Email)
Asneth Omare is the Director of Housing and Prevention Programs. Asneth worked at JustUs Health for the last 4 years. She has over 10 years leadership experience in the nonprofit/human services field including sitting on several boards of local organizations and community planning bodies.
Asneth is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University. Asneth is interested in issues relating to self-sufficiency, disparities and equal access especially for Immigrants/minority and low-income families in Minnesota.
When she is not at JustUs Health, Asneth enjoys cooking and spending time hanging out with her family and friends.
Andy Birkey (Email)
Andy Birkey is the Director of Communications. Andy's work over the last two decades has focused on investigative journalism, photography, and videography. He previously held roles at JustUs Health's predecessor (MAP) as a community health coordinator and data specialist.
He lives in Minneapolis with his husband and two dogs.