On the Ground Fighting Suburban Hunger

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in health disparities, nonprofit, nutrition, obesity, public health, Uncategorized |

Hunger is the most basic food issue. While not the flashiest, food shelves are on the front lines. Recently I visited the food shelf at Neighbors, Inc. located in S. St. Paul. Neighbors, Inc. is a relatively small organization with roots going back to 1972 when Swift and Armour closed their meat packing operations in S. St. Paul. Neighbors, Inc. depends on volunteers, many of whom are seniors who live in the community (they joke that the...

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Food for Thought

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in foundations, global health, health disparities, nutrition, obesity, philanthropy, public health, Uncategorized |

Food is big. There is widespread concern about hunger and malnutrition; obesity, in particular among children; access to healthy food; food waste; lack of healthy food options in schools, neighborhoods and restaurants; affordability of fresh produce; overconsumption of sugary drinks. The list could go on and on (as this one did). These issues don’t effect groups of people equally. Issues of food and nutrition are often seen through the lens of...

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The Human Heart

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in film, global health, health disparities, immigration, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized | 2 comments

I recently saw a wonderful documentary film called American Heart at the Minneapolis Film Festival.  I went to see the film because it dealt with an issue of interest to me – health care for refugees and immigrants.  While that was indeed the focus of American Heart, it dealt just as much with universal themes: end of life issues, family, resilience and how life unfolds in mysterious ways. American Heart follows three patients at the...

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An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Healing

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in health disparities, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized |

At the Diversity Rx conference, I attended a great session on “Listening to the Patient: how attitudes and culture affect the health care experience.”  One presenter, Linda Xiong, talked about a project she led to determine ways to address the problem of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevalence among the Hmong in Merced, California.  Chronic Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver...

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Paths to Health Equity – the Minnesota Connection

Posted by on Mar 17, 2013 in community engagement, health disparities, multicultural, public health, social connections, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Any Minnesotan who watches or reads the news knows there is a Minnesota angle to every national and international story.  So here’s theMinnesota angle to the National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations I attended last week.  First off, Minnesota was well-represented in terms of attendees and speakers (probably disproportionately represented in terms of population).  The Minnesota speakers presented on a variety...

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Community Groups Rise to the Challenge

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in community engagement, foundations, health disparities, nonproft, philanthropy, social connections, Uncategorized |

Earlier this year I served as a “citizen reviewer” for the Connect for Health Challenge.  The Connect for Health Challenge brought together Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation and InCommons, an initiative of the Bush Foundation, to fund projects that aimed to improve health by fostering social connections (an issue I’ve discussed in previous posts).The Challenge’s grant review process was not typical.  A typical grant review process...

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