Partnering for health

November 10, 2020
Brett Stursa

Community-University Health Care Center and School of Nursing volunteers in PPE outside

A new mobile health initiative, funded by a $1 million philanthropic investment from the Otto Bremer Trust, brings together University of Minnesota health professionals from dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medicine and veterinary medicine to provide a range of services, including COVID-19 testing (both viral and antibody) and education, enhanced access to health care for populations at higher-than-average risk for COVID-19 infection and poor outcomes as well as needed vaccinations for individuals and their companion animals. The overarching goal is to address health care disparities occurring in neighborhoods that are segregated and have inadequate access to community health services because of long-standing racial and social injustices.

“We are very interested in providing mobile health care to gap populations, where people don’t typically have health care come to them. We’re trying to increase access and overcome barriers to health care,” says M Health Nurse Practitioner Clinics Director Jane Anderson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, ANP-C.

Initially, the program will serve the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in North Minneapolis and the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) in South Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood, with geographical expansion to come.

“Our goal is to address community needs related to inequities or disparities in access to care by helping communities build on what they themselves identify as needs and reasonable approaches,” says Bobbi Daniels, MD, associate vice president for clinical affairs, who will oversee implementation. “We have already conducted mobile testing in COVID hotspot areas, including the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis and assisted the Minnesota Department of Health in Mower County, which saw cases spike. We will continue to grow and expand this initiative, working with our community partners throughout the state.”

Partnering for health is a recurring feature that highlights a school partnership working to advance health care to improve the health and wellbeing of all.