NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday January 18th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Sections

Recent archives

‘Health’ Archives

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

By STEVE SANDBERG East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium gathering, where community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th to lift up their ongoing work to bring community-led development to the Roof Depot site. As Minneapolis residents waited to see what change would result from the November 2021 election, 75 to 100 community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th at the East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium to lift up their ongoing work to bring community led development to the 7.6 acre Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood. Led by EPNI staffer Joe Vital, the meeting highlighted EPNI’s work to save the 230,000 square foot Roof Depot building for aquaponic farming, affordable housing, solar development, and a youth-led coffee shop, event center, and bicycle repair and assembly facility. Local BIPOC businesses displaced in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd are also supporting this community led effort. The meeting featured appearances of City, County and State level representatives. Restating their long-held support for the project were State Senator Omar Fateh and Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley. Neighborhood resident Karen Clark, who represented the area for 37 years in the state legislature, presented compelling documentation on disparities of income and wealth, as well as extremely elevated rates of asthma, childhood lead poisoning, and other environmentally related illnesses occurring in our majority BIPOC neighborhood. Her work for environmental justice over many years was the genesis of this project. The greatest interest was in the changing political situation at the City level. This is being led by 9th Ward Councilmember elect Jason Chavez, joined by Ward 1 Councilmember elect Elliot Payne, and 10th Ward Councilmember elect Aisha Chugtai. In the weeks before the 2021 election, a resolution to tear down the Roof Depot building was reinserted for a vote and passed by a 7 to 6 margin, but 4 of those 7 [...]

East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

By Stephen Gregg Photos courtesy of PHS Community Services Society In the eight years I’ve owned my home near 26th St and Bloomington Ave, I have been stuck by a discarded syringe, seen multiple overdoses, two deaths, and countless ambulances and police vehicles. I have watched in horror as entwined problems increase: the number of people experiencing homelessness, open air drug use, and crime. When approaching neighborhood issues, I try to practice empathy. From the beginning I’ve wanted to be involved in the work to find solutions, attending countless neighborhood meetings of all sorts. The problems here are deep-rooted  and complex. I’m not a social worker–actually I’m an agricultural plant scientist. So I also comb research for solutions to problems. And this search has pointed me strongly towards harm reduction practices and services, practices endorsed by the CDC. Harm reduction has the potential to reduce short term harms while creating space for long lasting change. The city is already funding harm reduction services, such as the work of Southside Harm Reduction, who do street outreach and provide needle exchange. According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition website, harm reduction principles are a set of practical strategies to reduce the consequences of drug use, based on a belief in rights for people who use drugs. Some of these include: acknowledging the realities of intersectional causes of drug use; ensuring that people who use drugs have a voice in the creation of solutions; NOT minimizing or ignoring the real harms and dangers caused by illicit drug use; and creating non-coercive and non-judgmental services. At this point, I can hear countless neighbors in meetings saying, “We don’t want to enable drug users.” And without much support from the city, the primary tactic that comes up is for neighbors to move people experiencing homelessness off a given block, inevitably resulting in them moving to another nearby. [...]

Cultural Wellness Center

Cultural Wellness Center

Allina Moving Phillips Eye Institute, Reducing Services and Staff

By Lindsey Fenner Allina Health has announced they are moving the Phillips Eye Institute (PEI) out of it’s building at 2215 Park Avenue in February 2022. Both in-patient and out-patient eye care will be moved into the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Campus, which is undergoing a $199 million renovation and rebuilding project. The move will also mean a reduction in staff. Allina did not respond to questions about how many staff positions will be lost, but said in a statement that they are “committed to working closely with employees impacted by the transition to provide support and direction for future job opportunities within the Allina Health system.”  Allina did not provide any information on the future of the PEI building and the nearly 2 acre site in the Phillips West neighborhood. In a statement, they said “Allina Health is committed to working with our community partners to determine the best future use of the PEI building.” As of mid-November, Allina had not contacted the Phillips West Neighborhood Organization about the move or the future of the PEI campus. In reporting by WCCO Channel 4 TV, Phillips Eye Institute workers represented by SEIU Healthcare MN, said the union was not notified about the decision to move PEI or reduce staffing.  The Phillips Eye Institute was founded in 1987 as part of the adjacent former Mount Sinai Hospital and is the second largest eye specialty hospital in the United States. It is named after Jay Phillips, local Jewish philanthropist and businessman who was instrumental in the founding of Mount Sinai Hospital. Mount Sinai Hospital closed in 1991, and the hospital campus is now home to Hope Academy private school.  

Safer Way to Travel

Safer Way to Travel

Safer Ways to Celebrate Holidays By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Holiday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. Here are safer ways to celebrate the holidays: Generally: Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.Outdoors is safer than indoors. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are traveling with children who cannot get vaccinated at this time, follow recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated and choose the safer travel options described below.If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.If you will be traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options.Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations. Special [...]

Naloxone Shortage: What’s Happening and What YOU Need to Know

Naloxone Shortage: What’s Happening and What YOU Need to Know

By TINA MONJE Despite spiking overdose deaths, the nation”™s grassroots harm reduction organizations were notified this spring that Pfizer, their primary supplier of affordable, single-dose injectable naloxone (i.e. Narcan), would temporarily halt production. Pfizer has declined to provide information with major news sources, except that this halt has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines, and that production will resume in February. SHRS Linkage to Care Coordinator Marissa Bonnie implementing a community naloxone station in South Minneapolis. Photo by Emily Shippee Of the many naloxone producers, Pfizer is the only one who sells the product at an affordable rate. In 2012, the company entered into an agreement with a nation-wide buyers”™ club consisting of community harm reduction organizations in an effort to get the opioid overdose reversal drug into the hands of those most likely to respond to overdose - people who use drugs (PWUD). Minneapolis-based Southside Harm Reduction Services (SHRS) is one of the many buyers”™ club members who rely on Pfizer”™s accessibility. Of the syringe services programs (SSP”™s) in Minnesota, SHRS purchases and distributes the largest quantity. SHRS Founder and Executive Director Jack Martin reports that, between June 2020 and 2021 alone, they distributed at least 80,000 doses to PWUD either directly, or through other SSPs, organizations, and individuals. While naloxone is theoretically abundant, a single dose from other producers can run about $20 each, an infeasible price for PWUD, and for the underfunded or underground entities who serve them. “There”™s enough naloxone in the world,” says Martin. “We don”™t need to be in a situation where we”™re having to deny people naloxone.” Martin suggests that other pharmaceutical companies either cannot or simply will not offer it at competitive prices. For now, [...]

Ebenezer Land

Ebenezer Land

By DWIGHT HOBBES “Affordable housing...is a misnomer of sorts: affordability implies the ability to pay for something given your budget”, think tank Cato Institute noted in a 2016 blog. Anyone of modest means looking for someplace to live who has run into what”™s being marketed as “affordable” can tell you just what a misnomer that is. It begs the cynical retort, affordable to whom? On top of which, rents and income have gone in opposite directions for some time and the contagion certainly didn”™t help, putting people out of work left and right. Ebenezer Park Apartments (photo courtesy of Ebenezer) Enter Ebenezer Park Apts., which doesn”™t solve that problem for everyone, but does give the elderly and disabled, including deaf tenants, a sorely needed break. Starting with the wallet, but, importantly, not ending there. Paramount, it goes without saying, is the difference between dispiritedly perusing ads for places priced out of your range and being asked one-third of your income ”“ whatever that happens to be. Plus, there”™s no application fee. It defies reason as how companies and organizations, whose selling card is affordability, charge at least $35, non-refundable, with a straight face just to fill out an application. Claiming it”™s to cover the background check is just so much bilge water. Ebenezer can find out whether you got booked for loitering and doesn”™t pocket a dime in the process. We”™re not talking public housing, which generally, how little you pay, is no bargain. Shelterforce.org documents, "Public housing , to a cycle of government neglect and under-funding which, in turn, led to poor construction design, inadequate maintenance, racial segregation, stigmatization, and further concentration of the very poor." In parts of Minneapolis, it also fosters veritable drug and prostitution franchises. Conversely, Ebenezer is a [...]

Cultural Wellness Center Community Health Hub

Cultural Wellness Center Community Health Hub

COVID-19 Back to School

COVID-19 Back to School

By LINDSEY FENNER It”™s September, which means kids are back in school! But with the Delta variant spreading in MN, and kids under 12 unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, sending your kids to school this year might feel really scary. Although the new variant is much more contagious, the good news is that all of the COVID-19 precautions we”™re already using are still effective against the Delta variant. We have so many tools to use! But it is important to remember that there isn”™t just one thing to do; we need to layer up these interventions to keep our kids healthy. Read your school”™s COVID-19 plan. Ask questions if there”™s something you don”™t understand.Surround your kids under 12 with vaccinated adults. Every vaccinated person helps to weaken the chain of transmission, and protect unvaccinated folks.Get your kids over 12 vaccinated. Although they are less likely to get severely ill, they can still get sick, and they can certainly spread COVID-19 to vulnerable loved ones, and unvaccinated younger siblings.Reduce community risk outside of school. Preventing spread outside of school prevents spread inside of school. This might look like: wearing a mask in all indoor settings outside of the home, seeing a smaller group of friends, doing fewer extracurricular activities.Good ventilation is essential. If your school isn”™t communicating with families about how they are improving ventilation in the classroom, ask about it!Get tested regularly: The CDC recommends students get tested at least weekly, even if they don”™t have symptoms. Talk to your school nurse about what testing is available through the school. The State of MN offers FREE, at-home testing: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/Masks are recommended in schools, regardless of vaccination status. Try to get the best-fitting, highest filtration mask your child can comfortably wear for long periods [...]

Cultural Wellness Center

Cultural Wellness Center

 Page 1 of 25  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »