UnitedHealthcare, Fairview and other community partners recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub. The partnership between the organizations was announced in August 2022 to advance health equity in the St. Paul community by increasing access to care and wellbeing services.
Details: The Hub, located in downtown St. Paul, is supported by UnitedHealthcare’s Communities of Health initiative that provides underserved communities with health infrastructure that enables equitable care and health outcomes.
State of play: Over the last year, the Hub has been actively working with communities to improve systems, provide necessary resources, build physical spaces and empower workforces to increase access to care and services. Attendees at the anniversary celebration events participated in a range of experiences that offered a glimpse into the services offered at the Hub.
By the numbers
In the past year, the Hub has provided thousands of community members access to care for primary and behavioral health appointments and referrals to local resources, such as transportation assistance and food support.
The Hub’s Food Programming has become an integral part of the comprehensive care strategy in St. Paul. A collaboration with Fairview and other Food Hub partners has resulted in providing food to more than 1,600 households weekly which amounts to 12,000 servings of food totaling 100,000 pounds of fresh produce each week.
The Food Hub actively supports more than 50 small, local, primarily BIPOC-owned farms by purchasing their fresh produce at market price. Additionally, the Empowerment Program employs 25+ youth weekly to learn about food packaging and delivery.
“One of the many ways we work to advance health equity is by partnering with organizations who have these same goals. We are more successful when we are all in it together. Congratulations and thank you to all of our partners in this important work. By understanding the needs of our communities, we can help make the whole system work better for everyone.”
Brett Edelson CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
Background: St. Paul is the first of three cities to begin the Communities of Health initiative in 2022. The initial services available at the Hub focus on high prevalence issues in the community, such as access to primary care, high-risk maternal health, behavioral health diagnoses and food insecurity. The services are provided in a “one-stop shop” experience so clinical service providers can help conduct social determinant of health screenings and make referrals, as needed.
Fairview will continue to track health outcomes for patients participating in the Hub’s programming in order to measure the impact and optimize services.
Between the lines: Survey research among people living in St. Paul found that more than half of respondents feel existing health care services do not meet the health needs of the surrounding communities, especially for low-income people, racial or ethnic populations experiencing health disparities, and refugees. Creating the Hub was a direct response to increase access to better health and wellness services.
What to watch: The Hub will continue to collaborate with several community partners to improve access to programs that address health disparities:
- Minnesota Community Care is the state’s largest federally qualified health center. It opened its 19th location, the St. Paul Wellness Center, at the Hub to offer affordable, multi-dimensional primary care, wellness services and more.
- M Health Fairview Mental Health & Addiction Services has expanded outpatient care in a new clinic location within the Hub, as well as transitional care and mental health bridging services to support people while they await the next phase in their care.
- Fairview Frontiers conducts research in a variety of areas, including new health technologies, wearable devices and new therapies.
- Fairview and the Sanneh Foundation operate food storage and distribution at the Hub in coordination with Second Harvest Heartland, helping address immediate food access needs in St. Paul.
- Ebenezer, a subsidiary of Fairview Health Services, is operating a first-of-its-kind model of adult day services in the state of Minnesota at the Hub. The program, called Daybreak of St. Paul, helps underserved seniors maintain active and independent lives through an enhanced adult day experience.