Our commitment to community health

Together with community partners, we’re building a holistic and equitable healthcare system designed to improve everyone’s health and wellness.

 

Clinical care can diagnose, treat, and often cure diseases, but we recognize health is more than that. Social and economic factors like systemic racism, trauma, access to healthy food, housing, and jobs impact more than 50% of people’s well-being.

 

Our community health programs are focused on making systemic changes and improving a wide range of issues that have deep and long-lasting impacts on how we live, work, and play.

Doctor giving advice to the pregnant woman in medical clinic

Our Goals

  • Achieve health equity and reduce racial disparities
  • Build relationships to enhance the experience of healthcare
  • Support individual health and well-being
  • Provide access to resources and education
  • Measure and improve community health

2023-2025 Community Health Priorities

Both North Memorial Health Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital routinely conduct Community Health Needs Assessments – working closely with partners in our community – to help us identify our community health priorities. The top two priorities we identified for 2023-2025 are racial disparities in health and life-impacting traumas. We are committed to focusing on and improving our community’s health in these areas.

Racial Disparities in Health

Racial disparities have a severe impact on health and quality of life and were evident throughout the assessment process. As a result of these disparities, many people in our community lack access to healthcare, do not have a primary care provider, and experience delayed care – especially for mental health. Our assessment also found that they reported higher use of emergency departments for sickness.

Some examples of racial disparities in health in our community are:

  • Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer are more prevalent in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community members
  • Infant mortality rates are higher in Black, Hispanic, and American Indian populations
  • Communicable diseases impact BIPOC communities more severely, as shown by higher COVID-19 death rates and hospitalizations, as well as higher rates of sexually transmitted infections
  • Unintentional injury rates among African Americans, American Indians, and Native Alaskans are higher than those of white residents

“From 2014-2018, the number of Black infant deaths was consistently higher than all other races and ethnicities, except in 2016.”

– Hennepin County Public Health

Life-Impacting Traumas

The effects of COVID-19 and systemic racism have led to large numbers of our population feeling depressed, anxious, and isolated. In addition, traumas such as community violence, opioid overdoses, and suicides have left many people grieving and in need of support.

Other drivers of life-impacting trauma in our community come from triple “ACEs”:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood and can include violence, abuse, and neglect as well as growing up in a family with mental health issues and substance use, domestic violence, and/or parental divorce or separation. People who report experiencing ACEs from ages 0-17 have more health problems, including substance use, depression, heart disease, sexually transmitted infections, and suicide attempts.
  • Adverse Community Experiences (ACE) such as violence, crime, and social unrest all impact the health of our community. Community members, particularly in North Minneapolis, report not feeling safe in their neighborhoods or being impacted by acts of community violence, which leads to higher levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
  • Adverse Community Environments (ACE) are those natural or human-caused disasters (earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, floods, terrorist acts) and threats such as disease outbreaks – like the COVID-19 pandemic – that impact many lives, straining local resources aimed at response and recovery to such disasters or threats.

“Unfortunately, my father passed away in December 2021 due to COVID. With him not knowing English and being alone at the hospital, it was very traumatic.”​

– Community engagement participant

What’s Next?

We will continue to engage with the community, gathering more information, opinions, and insights on these two community health priorities – racial disparities in health and life-impacting traumas. A Community Health Implementation Plan (CHIP) will be developed to address these issues over the next 3 years.

What is a Community Health Needs Assessment?

A community health needs assessment (CHNA) identifies both assets and resources that support healthy communities, as well as health challenges and disparities.

The assessments gather data and community input on a wide range of health issues including:

  • the health of community members (demographic characteristics, births, deaths, chronic conditions, communicable diseases, mental health),
  • health behaviors (substance use, physical activity, nutrition),
  • accessible and affordable health care, including preventive health such as health care screenings, immunizations, and dental care, and
  • healthy and safe environments, and social and economic factors that influence health (education and employment, affordable housing, social support).

Data comes from both secondary data sources, such as health surveys that gather information on the health of youths and adults in the community, and primary data collection by intentionally engaging with community members and organizations to identify and understand significant health needs in the community and seek input on addressing gaps and barriers so community members can lead healthy lives.

Working closely with the hospitals’ Community Engagement Advisory Teams (CEAT), data from all these sources is reviewed and priority health issues are selected for action. Partnering with the CEATs, community partners, and community members, a community health implementation plan is developed that outlines strategies for addressing the priority health issues.

Service Area

The area selected for data analysis includes 75% of all customers admitted to North Memorial Health Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital in the year 2021. It includes 31 ZIP codes, 34 cities and/or townships, and 7 school districts.

North Memorial Health Community Health Service Area Map

Click map for expanded view

Timeline

We are now moving into the 2023-2035 Community Health Implementation Plan development phase. We will continue to meet with community members and partners to define strategies to advance our 2023-2025 community health priorities. To stay connected and participate, or to learn more, visit communityhealthchat.com.

Past Dates

February – May 2022
Quantitative analysis

  • Analyze 130+ key health indicators (KHI)
  • Identify health disparities within the KHI, when possible

April – June 2022
Qualitative analysis & community engagement

  • Focus groups
  • Key stakeholder interviews
  • Online survey

August – November 2022

  • Hold community engagement events and activities focused on the 2023-2025 priority health issues

November – December 2022

  • Develop the Community Health Implementation Plan strategies
  • Publish 2023-2025 Community Health Needs Assessment

2021 Accomplishments

We empowered team members to feel comfortable addressing mental health issues with their customers, family, friends, and community members.

The Deterra medication disposal pouch makes drugs safe for disposal in the household trash. It protects our environment and prevents accidental overdose by immediately and permanently deactivating and disposing of unneeded pills, patches, liquids, creams, and films.

We purchased 4,200 Deterra bags to distribute to customers through the hospital pharmacies to increase safe disposal of household medications.

We created and provided virtual support groups for customers, caregivers and community members who are experiencing specific health issues:

  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • “Coffee and Conversation” for stroke survivors suffering from Aphasia via Zoom

Over the next two years, we are participating in a study with Hennepin Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network to evaluate the effectiveness of treating opioid use disorder in hospitalized patients. As part of this, we will have active education and support for better hospital-based care of opioid use disorder.

With support from a range of team members and leaders, our objective is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels that they belong.

We also deepened relationships with the community through partnerships with diverse media outlets including:

  • Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
  • Hmong Times
  • Insight News
  • Univision
  • KMOJ

Through these platforms, we’ve addressed vaccination education, workforce opportunities, and our Next Step Program & Care for moms, among other initiatives.

We hosted two events as part of Senior September that were focused on falls prevention and stroke awareness and education.

2019-2022 Community Health Priorities

The Community Health Needs Assessments for North Memorial Health Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital each identified three specific community health priorities between 2019-2022.

Mental Health
Mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (World Health Organization) We supported the mental health of our community members along the mental health continuum.

 

Substance Abuse
Substance abuse refers to the excessive use of substances — tobacco, prescription drugs, opioids, and alcohol — that are harmful to the health of an individual and a community. We provided education about substance abuse, supported ways to reduce access to excessive medication, and created partnerships within the healthcare system to support best practices.

 

Culturally Responsive Care
Culturally responsive care is the delivery of high-quality care in a personalized way that respects each of our diverse member’s unique cultural and linguistic needs and perspectives. (Kaiser Permanente)

We delivered a welcoming and inclusive experience for all people regardless of cultural practices, preferred language, or race. We expected and prepared North Memorial Health Hospital’s staff to deliver culturally responsive and competent care. We learned from our community partners about culturally responsive care.

Mental Health

Mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (World Health Organization) We supported the mental health of our community members along the mental health continuum.

 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to the excessive use of substances — tobacco, prescription drugs, opioids, and alcohol — that are harmful to the health of an individual and a community. We provided education about substance abuse, supported ways to reduce access to excessive medication, and created partnerships within the healthcare system to support best practices.

 

Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age. Functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value.” (World Health Organization)

We worked with local government, other healthcare systems, social service providers and community members to create an environment where our aging population can have access to the programs and services needed to age in place.