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.
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 Coalition is a community-based partnership created as a project in 2008 by Northpoint Health and Wellness Center under a contract with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Center for Prevention to transform the food environment, making it possible for residents to consume adequate and affordable high quality fruits and vegetables while promoting economic development and equity. It is currently incubated by Appetite for Change. Northside Fresh is a network of over 60 community members, organizations, businesses, committed to building a more self-reliant, just, and connected food system on the Northside. In its first years, Northside Fresh built trust between organizations and individuals in the community and created an enduring structure under which organizations and individuals could collaborate to transform the food environment. This early work formed the basis for partnerships to develop and gave birth to collaborative projects including: the West Broadway Farmer’s Market, the North Minneapolis Chapter of the Local Food Resource Group (seed/seedling buying club), the Fresh Corners Growers Cooperative, a community-grown produce aggregation vendor, and the Fruit/Veggie Rx program at the farmer’s market.
Northside Fresh is led by longtime Northside residents and people who have dozens of years experience organizing, working and living in the north Minneapolis food system. Together, our coalition partners possess a wealth of experience in program planning, policy advocacy, community gardening and farming, marketing, business development, education, community organizing, evaluation, and food production and service management.
African American Coalition on Child Protection ( AACCP)
The African American Coalition on Child Protection (AACCP) a grassroots effort of child protection, health, human services and community individuals and organizations working to address disparities in the child protection system. The AACCP Work Group on Child Protection formed several years ago on Minneapolis’ Northside. At that time leaders form the North Minneapolis community came together to lobby at the state capital for policy and procedural changes that would eradicate the racial disparities for African American children and their families. After two years of advocating at the state, speaking with state legislators and building a strong coalition, the AACCP in collaboration with NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, Inc. to secured funding to launch pilot projects. Learn more here.
Health Food Access: Fruits, Veggies and More
NorthPoint’s Fruits, Veggies, and More project, funded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Full Lives Initiative, strengthens food security in North Minneapolis through incentive-based food access model development, pilot testing, and scaling opportunities to enhance proximal and economic access to sufficient healthy, culturally-appropriate food on a year-round basis. The project will identify transportation solutions to increasing low-income residents’ access to healthy, nutritious foods, when paired with incentives for purchase. Learn more here.