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Posts Tagged ‘Cultural Wellness Center’

Cultural Wellness Center June ’22

Cultural Wellness Center

Cultural Wellness Center

Backyard Community Health Hub launches

Backyard Community Health Hub launches

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.

Introduction to The Alley”'s New Series: STORIES FROM OUR BACK YARD

Inside of the area called the “Backyard”, there are 15,000 households. Inside of each of those homes or apartments are stories waiting to be told. There are stories of kids getting good grades at school, friendly gestures between strangers, overcoming addictions, stories of incredible hope amidst despair. This month”'s story is written by Khusba Seka from the Backyard”'s Anchor Family CHAT (Community Health Action Team). She tells us of what her life has been like on her block.  Tell us YOUR story or a story about a neighbor, your block, or a family member. Stories help heal. Stories have power. They teach us about each other. Email or call 612-990-4022 for support and assistance.  “I am headed out, do you need anything?” By Khusaba Seka When I am asked, “What are Anchor Families?” there are two things that I think of: my sons”' description of our neighborhood and my neighbors who make me feel like I am part of their family. (more…)

A Community and Institution Partnership to Improve the Health and Health Care Experience of the Residents of the “Backyard” Area

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center The partners in the Backyard Initiative all see the partnership itself as a major accomplishment of the Initiative. The Partnership Consists of Two Partners: Atum Azzahir is the Executive Director of the Cultural Wellness Center, the community organization that is charged with engaging residents in the Backyard Initiative. She and her staff facilitate the meetings and support the work of the teams of residents in their health improvement projects, called Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs). She states that the partnership between Allina and the community around Allina headquarters (the “Backyard”) is nothing short of “revolutionary.” She says she often hears community residents express their appreciation and gratitude for what Allina has learned through this partnership and for staying at the table. The partnership consists of Allina Hospitals and Clinics, the Cultural Wellness Center, Hope Community, Portico, and the residents of the neighborhoods around Allina headquarters, including the four neighborhoods of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran. What stands out in everyone”'s mind is the way a major health institution has listened to and supported the leadership of community residents as they take responsibility for their health and the health of the entire community. Community residents often quote what Ellie Zuehlke, Allina”'s Director of Community Benefit said at a community meeting: “Pretty early in the initiative, there was a fundamental shift away from viewing the community as being in Allina”'s “Backyard” to recognizing that Allina is in the backyard of this community. Along with that, we realized that the work is not about improving the health of the community, but rather acting as a resource in a way that helps community residents to improve their own health.” (more…)

The Backyard Commission on Health: Commissioner”'s Report on Accomplishments

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Three years ago, Allina began the Backyard Initiative as an investment in the community”'s power to improve its own health in partnership with the resources of the health care system. Allina has shown its commitment to the community engagement process as a strategy for strengthening the capacity for residents to care for themselves and each other. Over 300 people have become active owners of the Initiative. The Backyard Initiative is a partnership between Allina Health Systems and the residents of the area around Allina Headquarters ”“ included the neighborhoods of Phillips Community, Corcoran, Central, and Powderhorn Park. Also included in the partnership are the Cultural Wellness Center, which facilitates, organizes, and supports community residents to work together on health improvement; Hope Community, which is hosting dialogue among organizations in the community and exploring ways for organizations to support and complement community engagement; and Portico, Inc., which is providing health care insurance to residents in the Backyard who qualify. The Backyard Initiative now has an infrastructure that includes 15 Citizen Health Action Teams, a one of its kind 35-member Community Commission on Health and a Community Resource Body comprised of influential leaders in community development, health care, and business. The community engagement process was designed and is facilitated by the CWC using a process that is able to both hold the communities”' attention and to inspire self-development. As the following demonstrates, the monthly community dinner dialogues and CHAT meetings with members of the community and members of the Allina system have become powerful learning labs for all involved. (more…)

Focus on Mental Health in the Backyard

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Community residents participating in the Backyard Initiative have identified “mental health” as one focus for their work to improve the health of all residents. At their past few monthly meetings, members of the Community Commission on Health and Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) of the Backyard Initiative (BYI) have been discussing which health condition all the CHATs would work on together. Community members have named many different aspects of mental health, such as stress, depression, and chemical dependency as having a significant impact on overall health. In the community health assessment conducted in 2009, the top health conditions that residents reported experiencing in the last five years were stress (51%), depression (21%), and high blood pressure (21%). The BYI is a partnership between Allina Health Systems and the community surrounding Allina headquarters (the four neighborhoods of Phillips, Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran) to develop ways to improve the health of the community. Resident-run CHATs are now implementing their health strategies and are accountable to the Community”'s Commission on Health, a group of primarily community residents who are also members of a CHAT. (more…)

Update on the Backyard Initiative: BYI Citizen Health Action Teams Update

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Every month at the Cultural Wellness Center, members from the Backyard Initiative Citizen Health Action Teams, or CHATs, come together to update each other on their activities and talk about common principles and problems in their community building work. Last month, on February 17, CHAT members discussed what it takes to work together and accomplish what they set out to do. The Backyard Initiative was started two years ago as a community partnership between Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the residents of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran with the goal of improving the health of the community. Most of the work of the Backyard Initiative is carried out within Citizen Health Action Teams, where community members on each team have developed a strategy for improving health and are now in the process of implementing that strategy. CHAT Leadership in the Community Elder Atum Azzahir from the Cultural Wellness Center, the facilitator of the meeting, explained to the CHAT members that the Commission on Health, a body of primarily community members from each CHAT, will be looking at the work of each CHAT this year in terms of how the work contributes to the health of the whole community and involves people from the community. She told the members, “The Commission is going to be asking ”˜Is the CHAT growing in its connection to other people?”' How are you adding to your list of people in the Backyard? Are they connecting to what you are doing, becoming part of what you”'re doing? She then asked the CHAT members to think about their leadership skills and what skills they need to develop to be effective leaders. The CHAT members identified building relationships, identifying resources, strategic planning, and influencing, directing, and organizing people as the set of skills that are needed to do the work. Elder Atum told the group that last year the CHAT members were more focused [...]

Health providers and community development organizations invited to work with Back Yard community

Health providers and community development organizations invited to work with Back Yard community

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Looking back over the activities and accomplishments of 2010, the partners of the Backyard Initiative have a lot to celebrate. The residents of the Backyard (Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran) and Allina Hospitals and Clinics are creating a new kind of partnership to improve the health of the community. On December 10, the Cultural Wellness Center and Allina hosted a breakfast for CHAT members and other guests to learn about the Backyard Initiative and meet Dr. David Kindig, Emeritus Professor of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine. Dr. Kendig shared Hennepin County”'s scores from the County Health Rankings which ranks the overall health of every county in the U.S. (available on The report, released by the University of Wisconsin”'s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the first of its kind to measure the state of health of a county based on health measures and other key factors that affect health, such as smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty. A list of such measures, chosen by community residents, could be a tool to help the Backyard residents assess the health of the Backyard community. Marcus Thygeson, MD, president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Hospitals & Clinics (the Backyard Initiative is an initiative of this Center) spoke about the need for a “new frontier” of corporate and community partnership. This partnership is not the traditional “we will help you” model, but listens to the community”'s voice, ideas, and self-interests. It”'s not about Allina being the experts or knowing best ”“ it”'s about honoring [...]

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