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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.  

Random alley Labor News

By LINDSEY FENNER Random Alley Labor News By Lindsey Fenner Strike Averted at Allina: Service Employees International Union (SEIU) healthcare workers at Allina, which includes Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Phillips Eye Institute in Phillips, reached a last-minute tentative agreement with Allina Health. Workers had been set to strike on May 10 if an agreement wasn”™t reached in time. Issues during contract negotiations included pay, and health and safety concerns.  Boycott of Marathon and Speedway Gas Stations Called for as Lockout at Refinery Continues: The MN AFL-CIO has endorsed a boycott of Marathon and Speedway gas stations as the lockout of workers at the St. Paul Park Marathon Refinery enters its fifth month. Members of Teamsters Local 120 were locked out by Marathon after a one-day strike in January. Workers have been fighting against staffing cuts and changes that they are worried will make the refinery more dangerous. The Marathon Refinery is one of about 50 refineries in the United States that still uses hydrogen fluoride, a highly toxic chemical. According to Marathon filings with the Environmental Protection Agency, an explosion at the refinery could create a toxic cloud that could travel 19 miles and impact 1.7 million people. Teamsters and allies have been spreading the word about the boycott and safety issues at the Marathon Refinery with pickets at gas stations supplied by the refinery.  Upcoming Labor Education Class from the U of MN”™s Labor Education Service: Bargaining from Margin to Center, Thursday, June 3, 1:00pm - 4:00pm. Union members can use the collective bargaining process to center the needs and concerns of historically marginalized people (people of color, queer and trans people, disabled people, immigrants, etc.). This course will provide participants with skills and strategies to prioritize gains for historically marginalized people in your collective bargaining process. Cost: $50 [...]

Labor News

Labor News

By LINDSEY FENNER By Lindsey Fenner  International Workers Day March | Marcha en el Dia Internacional de lxs trabajadores May 1: May 1st is International Workers”™ Day, and the Twin Cities Labor Movement will be marching, Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 2 PM, Minneapolis. Gather at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue. The organizers demand: Labor Rights! Justice for Essential Workers! Immigrants Rights! Immigration Reform Now! Stop Police Brutality! Climate Justice Now! Stop Line 3! Derechos laborales Justicia para lxs trabajadores esenciales Derechos para lxs inmigrantes Reforma migratoria ya Alto a la brutalidad policial Justicia climática ya -- alto a la Linea 3 Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Deadline June 1: Nellie Stone Johnson was a fierce advocate for workers, folks of color, and the power of education. The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to racial minority union members and their families who wish to pursue an education at one of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Scholarships ranging from up to $1200 for part time and up to $2500 for full time are given each year to students enrolled in community or technical college, along with undergraduate and graduate programs. For more: http://www.nelliestone.org/scholarship-program Healthcare Workers at Allina authorize strike: At the end of March, 4,000 workers represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare MN overwhelmingly voted to authorize an Unfair Labor Practices Strike against Allina Healthcare, if the two sides cannot reach a deal. Workers at Allina, which includes Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Phillips Eye Institute in the Phillips neighborhood, have been in contract negotiations with Allina since January. According to SEIU, continuing issues are Allina”™s 0% pay increase offer and refusal to address health and safety concerns. As of press time, SEIU workers have not yet gone on strike, but [...]

Alley February 2021

Alley February 2021

At the center of all of our work is our Definition of Health

At the center of all of our work is our Definition of Health

Health is a state of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. It is not only the absence of infirmity and disease. Health is the state of balance, harmony, and connectedness within and between many systems ”“ the body, the family, the community, the environment, and culture. It cannot be seen only in an individual context. Health is an active state of being; people must be active participants to be healthy. It cannot be achieved by being passive. This issue of The Alley Newspaper is largely dedicated to reflecting the voices and the activities over the past year of the Backyard Initiative.  Each of 12 CHAT teams have contributed their own stories and photos.

The Backyard Initiative: What It Is and Why It Exists

The Backyard Initiative: What It Is and Why It Exists

The Backyard Initiative is a dynamic partnership between Allina Health and its neighbors to improve health and health care in the seven communities immediately surrounding Allina Commons, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Phillips Eye Institute. The Backyard Initiative supports efforts to strengthen community health by empowering residents to draw upon their own knowledge, skills, and cultural values to care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Research shows that social conditions”“ including isolation and a lack of social support ”“ have a profound impact on our health. By partnering the expertise and resources of health care institutions with the wisdom and experience of residents, The Backyard Initiative is exploring a new dimension to a health care system that will focus on promoting health in addition to treating sickness. Beginning in 2008, Allina partnered with the Cultural Wellness Center, a community nonprofit organization in South Minneapolis, to facilitate the community engagement process. The Cultural Wellness Center has a long history of engaging community residents to improve health through self-study, surfacing and producing knowledge, cross-cultural knowledge exchange, and relationship building. Early in the process, the CWC led a process that engaged residents in developing a definition of health, a definition that became the foundation for The Backyard Initiative.

Access to Health Care Services ”“ Portico Healthnet

Access to Health Care Services ”“ Portico Healthnet

By Debra Holmgren, President, Portico Healthnet Portico Healthnet”'s mission is to increase the number of people in Minnesota with health care coverage. Toward that goal, Portico offers help with applications for government health programs like Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, and offers an alternative Coverage program to eligible residents in the Twin Cities. Portico is a community-based nonprofit agency. Portico offers these services through generous contributions from hospital and health plan partners, as well as other funding sources in the community. Allina and Portico have partnered to provide Portico”'s health care coverage program to residents of the east metro area since 1998. Beginning in 2009, Allina increased their support so that Portico was able to offer the Coverage program to residents of the Backyard. The Coverage program is not insurance, but it does offer payment for primary and preventive medical services, as well as payment for outpatient mental health services and prescription medications. Eligibility is based on level of income as well as living in the Backyard area. The Coverage program has a small monthly participation fee which is also based on income, usually about $25 per month per household. Once enrolled in the program, Portico participants choose a primary care clinic where they can receive all of their non-emergency services, including immunizations, health screenings like mammograms, and appointments for any health issues, including illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. Nearly 300 people from the Backyard have been enrolled in Portico”'s Coverage program since the Backyard Initiative began. Please call Portico at 651-489-CARE (2273) for more information. (more…)

Themes that Emerged

Themes that Emerged

An assessment team was formed to create a picture of the current state of health and well-being of the residents in the Backyard, engage a broad network of residents in the process, and inform and plan the next steps for The Backyard Initiative. The assessment team included community residents, staff from Allina, the CWC, and Wilder Research. Through 21 Listening Circles and 677 face-to-face, walk-around interviews, three themes began to emerge: The Power of Interconnectedness. Each dimension of health named in the community definition of health is dependent on the others; one dimension of health cannot be understood or addressed in isolation. The Power of Relationships. Relationships impact the determinants of health. People know that they need exercise and healthy food, plenty of rest and occasional check-ups to be healthy, but their relationships are crucial to whether they consistently act on that knowledge. Developing healthy relationships between community residents and health care providers is a powerful factor for improving community health outcomes.

Partners in the Backyard Initiative

Allina Health: The Center for Health Care Research & Innovation researches new care models to transform health and health care and seeks collaborative partnerships as it fosters innovative approaches to providing care. Cultural Wellness Center: is a non-profit community-based organization dedicated to developing cultural approaches for positively impacting health and health care, economic development, and community building. Hope Community: A Phillips community development organization committed to deep community engagement. Hope Community led the process of engaging non-profit organizations in the Backyard. Portico Healthnet: A nonprofit health and human services organization that helps uninsured Minnesotans access affordable health coverage and care.

Highlights of 2011: Strategies & Activities

Community Engagement & Leadership Community Engagement in the BYI is lead and facilitated by the Cultural Wellness Center. The community infrastructure for the initiative consists of three “pillars”: Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) Community Com-mission on Health Community Resource Body.  CHATs are formed by residents to design, implement and evaluate prevention and wellness projects. Each project targeted barriers to health, weaknesses in achieving health, and followed the recommendations outlined in the 2009 community health needs Assessment. In 2011, the CHATs held 173 activities in which 1285 residents participated. The following key themes were identified and implemented across the CHATs: Strategies to increase social support within their identified communities; Strategies to increase social cohesion within the Backyard community; Strategies based on their knowledge of problems and solutions and based on their skill set; Inventory of assets based on their social and cultural capitol. (more…)

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