Categories: Health, News


Categories: Health, News


Aldo Manner



United Way of Northwest Michigan (UWNWMI) is pleased to announce Jennifer Kerns as their new Director of Health Initiatives. This newly created position will serve to improve our community’s health and well-being through the development of more specialized programming at UWNWMI.

“This is a very exciting time for us branching out into new territory, it’s long overdue for our community. I am happy to say that Jennifer Kerns has accepted the role of Director of Health Initiatives and we will be seeing great things happening very soon,” shared Seth Johnson, Executive Director of United Way of Northwest Michigan.

United Way’s vision of a resilient community with family-sustaining jobs, solid education, and a healthy environment are at the root of this new endeavor.

As a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), Kerns is active in dentistry and passionate about oral health, frequently speaking on the subject. As a practicing clinician, she’s developed robust mobile dental programs, created a self-sustaining way to serve veterans’ dental needs, and backpacked into homeless encampments to serve people that others have given up on. Over the years, Kerns has legislated for her profession and her patients, advocating for oral health in relation to overall health and wellness. She was also one of the first PA161 Registered Dental Hygienists in the state to work without the direct supervision of a dentist. 

Kerns has given years of service to her community as well as at the state level, and is now excited to begin another new chapter. “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting wonderful, hard working people over the years that just needed a helping hand, not a hand-out, and United Way is a perfect fit to expand that kind of access in our region,” said Kerns. 

Kerns also works with patients at the Thomas Judd Care Center and the Northern Regional Bleeding Disorder Center through Munson Healthcare. “It’s a great relationship,” says Johnson. “This is going to change our community for the better. Having a Director of Health Initiatives is right in line with our organizational goals of helping families achieve success and stability.”

UWNWMI is proud to work with such a generous community full of people who care, evident by the work already being done under the new Director of Health Initiative’s leadership. “As with all things at United Way, we couldn’t do it without our community’s support,” Kerns said. “I look forward to continuing our partnerships throughout the region as well as forging new ones.”  

Jennifer Kerns can be reached at She welcomes opportunities to collaborate and looks forward to hearing more from the community to continue advocating for better health and wellness in our region.