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Helminiak earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her medical degree and master's degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She completed a flexible internship at Michigan State University and is board certified in public health and general preventive medicine.

She served for 23 years as a primary care physician and health care administrator at isolated duty stations in the Indian Health Service in New Mexico, Alaska, Montana, and Arizona. Serving both domestically and on-site in Afghanistan, she worked for five years on Afghan health care reconstruction.

Helminiak served two years in the Office of the Vice President as the medical advisor for Homeland Security Affairs. At the Department of Health and Human Services, she directed medical and public health emergency preparedness and response programs, in conjunction with her role as the chief medical officer for the U.S. Public Health Service. 

In retirement, she is an independent consultant and resides in Bulverde, Texas.


Positions Held at MOAA:

  • Health Care Committee; Member Services Committee