Our community health needs assessments, published in 2015, identified important and unmet health needs in the communities we serve.

This spring community health and hospital leaders across the Fairview system collaborated to assess how we can address these health needs through strategic programming. This collaboration led to the development of our 2016-2018 Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Strategies.

We identified two community health priority needs that exist across our system: mental health and well-being and chronic disease prevention and management through healthy living.

“In developing our implementation strategies, we wanted to have unity across our Fairview system, but also make sure we were addressing needs that are specific to local communities,” says Ann Ellison, director of community health and church relations. “We choose strategies that will impact health and wellness in critical areas and reach a wide range of people.”

Three central programs

Once the two community health priority needs were agreed upon, our focus shifted to identifying programs that would become the backbone of our community health work for the next three years.

“We wanted our programs to be available at low-to-no cost to participants and accessible by vulnerable populations who generally face more difficulties accessing health resources, such as those who live in rural communities, low-income and diverse populations or senior citizens,” says Jennifer Morman, community benefit program manager.

Centered on the two community health priority needs, all Fairview hospitals will implement, or continue to implement, the following three programs:

  • Mental Health First Aid USA and Youth Mental Health First Aid USA: These free community classes give participants an overview of common mental health and substance abuse illnesses and teach them how to successfully offer help to those in crisis. Participants increase knowledge of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illness. In order to ensure access to low-income or otherwise vulnerable community members, donations to Fairview Foundation provide funding to allow us to offer the full-day training at no cost.
  • Living Well: Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: This six-week workshop teaches participants habits and techniques to live better and healthier. Participants learn about practical ways to deal with chronic conditions, such as important exercises and appropriate use of medications, and develop skills to communicate with health professionals about their condition.
  • Rethink Your Drink, Every Sip Counts! This program works in collaboration with Minneapolis Public Health and hospital vendors to educate communities on the health risks associated with drinking sugar-loaded beverages. One of the goals of this program is to bring existing vending contracts into alignment with Partnership for Healthier America’s goal of less than 20 percent of vending beverages being sugar-sweetened.

Community health staff at each Fairview location will also continue other programs that address unique health needs within their local communities.

For more information, read the individual reports.