Dr. Nielsen joined the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences as senior vice president for Community Engagement spring of 2017.
Previously she spent five years as chief executive officer of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder education and advocacy group that seeks to advance the goals of high-performing primary care as the foundation of our health care system. Prior to that, Dr. Nielsen served as vice chancellor for public affairs and associate professor at the KU School of Medicine’s Department of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Nielsen was appointed by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius as first executive director and board chair of the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA). She worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska), and later served as the health lobbyist and assistant director of legislation for the AFL-CIO. She was a committee member for the Institute of Medicine’s Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020 and Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action. Early in her career she was as a Peace Corps volunteer working for Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, and served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves. Dr. Nielsen holds an MPH from George Washington University and a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.