The Fairview Community Health and Wellness Center will open Thursday in the former St. John’s Hospital. Joseph, as a health care provider working to address inequities in access to care.
In a recent Fairview survey of Saint Paul residents, nearly a third said they use urgent care or the emergency department for daily needs. The 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment Report surveyed nearly 300 residents and found that more than half of them faced challenges in accessing care when they were sick. The most common barriers were lack of knowledge or understanding of how and where to get the right care, followed by concerns about cost and logistics. It also recognized the difference between race and gender.
“In the state of Minnesota and across the country we are seeing disparities in health, access to care, experiences and outcomes overall,” said Diane Tran, director of the New Center for Community Health Equity at M Health Fairview. It is located inside the Health and Wellness Center.
“When we’re thinking about the ability to change some of those parameters, we know there’s a lot of work that has to be done,” Tran said. “There’s a lot of opportunity when we think about 90% of what affects health and well-being happens outside of health settings. These things related to food, housing, the ability to feel safe in your community — the social determinants of health are really what we’re talking about.” We need to look at it when we’re thinking about the big picture about what creates and challenges well-being.”
The Center for Community Health Equity will serve as a provider space to partner with community members and organizations to develop new programs and expand existing programs across the state. According to Tran, work could include implementing additional food distribution programs, expanding community vaccination centers, or adding “cultural brokers”.
M Health Fairview has six cultural brokers, who are bilingual and multicultural staff who connect Indigenous, Hispanic and Latino, Hmong, African American and Karen communities with health care services and other resources. See the article : Visual Arts: ‘Artists Supporting Artists’ at All People Arts Gallery Hosts ‘Pots & Prints’. They served more than 165 clients with 3,444 visits during 2021.
“Having an advocate to help people with simple things that ultimately prevent people from losing their homes, or not being able to get the necessary materials, food for the month, these are things that go up a little bit and can prevent these big challenges. and hurting families,” said Tran. “It’s ‘How do we engage with the community to identify what’s important to them? How do we work together to develop appropriate solutions that will be effective?
This collaborative center is located on the top floor of Fairview’s Health and Wellness Hub. The hub will also have a clinic, mental health and addiction services, and adult day programs.
“Sometimes we don’t understand how important it is – to think with other people to understand where people have challenges, where they don’t so that we can learn from each other and also support each other,” he said. Tony Sanneh, founder. and President of the Sanneh Foundation.
His nonprofit partnered with Fairview Health Services to operate a food distribution and food pantry at the Hub.
“I think there’s always been a great need,” Sanneh said. “Inflation is really high and costs a lot. There are resources for the community so making sure people feel comfortable to ask for help is really important and not only for nutritional services for their family but for mental health. M Health is addressing both aspects of the Arm.”
Volunteers pick up food every week from the old ambulance bay in St. Joseph and then take them to the communities.
“We’re trying to really make a unique traditional meal,” said Sanneh, who explained that they work with chefs to craft the recipes. “We’re going to include ingredients that we think the different demographics we’re serving will want to have, so each box will look a little different depending on where we take it.”
He hopes that the collaboration taking place in the Hub will serve as an example for others in the future.
“We’ve found that when we give people resources and opportunities, they thrive and grow,” Sanneh said.