What is a Community Health Worker?
A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a front-line public health worker who facilitates access to services and improves the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. CHWs also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. NorthPoint Inc. employs a diverse staff of certified CHWs who speak Hmong, Somali and Spanish as well as English.
As frontline workers working inside communities, CHWs are well-positioned to serve as a link between the wider community and the clinical services available at NorthPoint. Traditional healthcare services offered in clinics and hospital settings are not typically equipped to address such factors as quality housing, employment issues, educational resources or access to health insurance, all of which can directly or indirectly impact an individual’s health and well being.
Multiple studies have demonstrated support for the effectiveness of CHWs in increasing access to health care, promoting knowledge gain and behavior change and improving health outcomes in target populations. Their success is directly linked “to their knowledge of customs and beliefs, their ability to build trust among hard to reach individuals and groups, and their bilingual capabilities.
CRUSH (Consortium to Restore Urban Youth Sexual Health)
With original support from the Minnesota Department of Health, NorthPoint convened this community-based coalition of individuals, agencies and organizations located in North Minneapolis to address the epidemic of Chlamydia among African American youth ages 15-25 years old. This coalition has adopted a Collective Impact model to produce a strategic community action plan to reduce and prevent Chlamydia in Minneapolis. Currently supported by the National Reproductive Institute’s Urban Initiative.
Co-Parent Court is collaboration between the Fourth Judicial District, Hennepin County Child Support and Collections, the University of Minnesota Extension, the Gateway Project and the African American Men Project operated by NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Inc., the Legal Rights Center, the FATHER Project, the Oasis of Love family services agency, and the Domestic Abuse Project.
Co-Parent Court provides enhanced services to low income, unmarried parents establishing paternity in Hennepin County’s child support establishment program.
Linking North Minneapolis Charter School Students with Health and Wellness Resource
The Linking North Minneapolis Charter School outreach is a collaborative effort between NorthPoint’s medical clinic, NorthPoint’s Community Health Workers, and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Sage Plus program, which is a recent add-on to their breast and cervical cancer program.
This program is a comprehensive effort to provide preventive health screening and detection (medical, oral and mental health), health care access with outreach and education, enrollment in health coverage and care coordination for children identified at risk. The program will be administered in three charter schools (Sojourner Truth Academy, The Harvest Preparatory School, New Millennium) reaching an estimated 850 children in North Minneapolis.
This program is funded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
Project STARS (Start Taking Action to Restrict Smoking)
The University of Minnesota’s Center For Health Equity is conducting a research project in partnership with NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Inc. about the health effects of secondhand smoke on children. We are currently enrolling women who smoke and who have young children in the home. Project STARS staff make every effort to accommodate the schedule of participants and offer evening and weekend visits. Learn more here.
Northside Fresh (originally named Northside Healthy Eating Project) was created to encourage Northside residents to consume more fresh vegetables and fruits. Northside Fresh is a collaboration of 79 community, faith based, educational, governmental organizations and individuals working on issues across the food spectrum to increase the availability of and access to fresh produce and healthy food for the North side of Minneapolis and beyond. We do this through promotion, policy changes, physical changes, programs and planning.
Medical research has found that a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables has been found to prevent obesity and diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. To the contrary, a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables has been shown to be a major contributor to obesity and a vast range of diseases.