Community Health

Many colleges and universities in the Minnesota Campus Compact network have engaged both campus and community in a wide range of community health promotion efforts—increasing the affordability and accessibility of high-quality healthcare, addressing the social determinants of health and encouraging upstream prevention, educating youth about health issues and health professions, and conducting community-based research to inform future partnerships.

* Projects and programs identified with CHC are associated with Minnesota Campus Compact’s College Health Corps program.

Healthcare Access

Augsburg College faculty and students run a free clinic located in Central Lutheran Church that provides basic medical services for people of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Founded in 1992, the clinic has provided an opportunity for people in the Nursing Department to become involved in an independent practice and to address such basic community health needs as nutrition, medication, stress management, respiratory conditions, injuries, skin problems, and chronic disease including diabetes and hypertension.

Carleton College and St. Olaf College partner with HealthFinders Collaborative, a grassroots community organization established by local citizens to address the critical health care needs of uninsured and under-insured, low-income, Rice County residents. The organization runs an affordable health clinic in Dundas and has initiated a prescription drug fund.

Central Lakes College nursing students now assist the Brainerd School District nurses with K-12 student health screenings and other efforts promoting quality of life.  The college president and the school superintendent signed a Memorandum of Understanding supporting this partnership, and service-learning is now required for all CLC practical and registered nursing students.

Metropolitan State University and Normandale Community College collaborate to operate a dental clinic where Metropolitan State Advanced Dental Therapy students provide restorative dental care to individuals without dental insurance at a dramatically discounted rate. In return, the students gain practical experience in their field.

Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University are both partners of Northern Dental Access Center, a non-profit community access dental clinic serving low-income children and families in northern Minnesota.  The clinic was created through a community collaborative effort to address the severe shortage of dental access in this rural area. CHC

Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota, Duluth run the HOPE (Health for People Everywhere) clinic, which is funded by donations from the community and provides services for people who are uninsured, homeless, or in transition. The clinic serves as a free resource for community members as well as a community-based training experience for UMD medical students. CHC

University of Minnesota Physicians is an organization of faculty members from the University of Minnesota Medical School who are dedicated to providing excellent patient-focused care. Among its network of clinics is Broadway Family Medicine, a teaching clinic for medical residents that also provides free or low-cost primary care services for people in North Minneapolis. CHC

Health Education

Metropolitan State University nursing students lead health classes for children ages 6-13 at the Eastside Boys and Girls Club in St. Paul.  They facilitate games, activities and discussions addressing topics including nutrition, exercise smarts, heart health, allergy issues, and hygiene. CHC

At Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview has initiated the Health Ambassadors program, an afterschool health and performing arts training program designed to teach teens the leadership and public speaking skills needed to promote healthy living messages in their schools, families, and communities. CHC

Scrubs Camp is a summer program run by HealthForce Minnesota that has been held on the Winona State University campus since 2008.  It offers teens the opportunity to participate in hands-on healthcare activities, learn about health-related careers, and experience living on a college campus. The program has also been adopted by Augsburg College, which held its first Urban Scrubs Camp in 2010.

Working Upstream: Social Determinants of Health

The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg College has been working with youth in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis on education programs around healthy cooking and gardening for several years. This year, the partnership has grown to include Brian Coyle Community Center, Trinity Congregation, and the Somali Confederation of MN.

Members of the nursing department at Bethel University are spearheading the formation of a community-based coalition to address the social challenges that contribute to health inequity in St. Paul and its surrounding communities. Among the coalition members are the Partnership Academy Charter School, Minneapolis Public Schools, and Cornerstone.

Carleton College and St. Olaf College have been partnering with Growing Up Healthy, a coalition of community leaders and non-profit organizations in Rice County, to increase low-income families’ access to fresh produce by installing EBT machines at local farmer’s markets. CHC

Service-learning students at St. Catherine University are working with students from the Minnesota Internship Center charter school to construct “food asset” maps of the school’s community in North Minneapolis. They are also compiling information about the available mental health resources for youth and making it available for other students at MNIC. CHC

The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview partners with the Brian Coyle Community Center to support a weekly girls-only exercise program, a weekly grocery bus for neighborhood residents who have no other means of transportation, and weekly health education classes that address the needs of the African immigrant community in the neighborhood. CHC

The University of Minnesota, Morris houses a Regional Fitness Center that serves residents of Stevens County and the surrounding area, from infants to senior citizens.  It was developed and is governed by both community and campus stakeholders.

Community-Based Research

The Nursing, Criminal Justice, Education, and Social Work departments at Minnesota State University, Moorhead are engaged in a 2-year interdisciplinary White Earth Reservation Study, focusing on the total health of youth, from pre-school through high school, to determine the factors that influence their education.

Several classes in the St. Cloud State University gerontology program are partnering with the Lakeview Ranch specialized dementia care center to evaluate the effectiveness of its patient-focused care as compared to more mainstream centers. Lakeview Ranch adheres to a unique philosophy that prioritizes patient experience and quality of care, and it has been immensely successful in meeting the needs of dementia patients who are at high risk of repeated hospitalizations.

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2 responses to “Community Health

  1. Pingback: MN Campus Compact features CHC projects in its Community Health Issues Sheet |

  2. Pingback: Educating Citizens, Building Communities | Campus in Community

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