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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American Heart – Part II

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in film, immigration, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized |

  After I saw the documentary American Heart (reviewed in an earlier blog post), it occurred to me that it would be interesting to show this film to recent immigrants and refugees – the subjects of the film.  I reached out to the director, Chris Newberry, and to people I knew at the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Refugee Health, as well as one of my clients, Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota. We all put our heads together...

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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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The Graying of Dakota County: Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in community development, community engagement, older adults, public health, Uncategorized |

In my work, I have helped several clients develop proposals for “NORC” programs.  NORC is a funny-sounding acronym that stands for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities.  It is one of several similar terms which describe the concept and goal of people being able to remain in their communities as they get older.  So when I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to a “community conversation” on how to help my little burb become a...

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