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Allinas focus on the community improves health, prevents illness

March 21, 2014

“Community Connections” spotlights the many ways in which hospitals serve their communities. AHA members can learn more by visiting www.ahacommunityconnections.org.

At Allina Health in Minneapolis, serving the health needs of its communities extends beyond the walls of its hospitals and clinics.

Allina partners with its communities on initiatives that improve health and prevent illness.

Through community engagement programs, the health system engages more than 3.8 million people through dozens of community health education efforts each year. Following are a couple of its community programs.

Health Powered Kids. Developed by health professionals at Allina Health, Health Powered Kids is a free online educational resource designed to empower children ages 3 to 14 to make healthier choices about eating, exercising, keeping clean and managing stress. More than 10,000 participants have benefited from the Health Powered Kids lessons and activities on nutrition, physical fitness and mind-body balance in the first six months of the program.

“In addition to our exercise and nutrition lessons, we’re also helping
parents, teachers and community groups talk about stress management and hygiene,” said nurse Susan Nygaard, manager of Community Health Improvement. “This program fills a major need in the community.” Learn more at www.healthpoweredkids.org.

Neighborhood Health Connection.

Launched by Allina Health in April 2012, Neighborhood Health Connection gives people the tools to create informal groups and offers those groups fun and creative ways to make themselves and their communities healthier.

The program has served more than 35,000 people since 2012 by providing financial support of up to $2,500 to 180 neighborhoods and community organizations to support health initiatives. In addition, a website was launched to offer neighborhood groups a toolkit to get started on the path to better health, including tips for recruiting neighbors to plan group activities, door hangers, flyers and activity sheets.

And it’s working – more than 70% of participants intended to improve their lifestyle habits over a six-month period with 100% of the organizations involved rating the overall satisfaction with Neighborhood Health Connect as very high or high. Learn more by clicking on:
http://tinyurl.com/oo4psro.

This is an excerpt of an article that first appeared in the Minnesota Hospital Association’s 2013 community benefit report. It is reprinted here with the association’s permission.

For more on the report, click on: http://tinyurl.com/purukrt.