Insight News

Feb 14th


Mission: Smoke free homes

Mission: Smoke free homesProject STARS (Start Taking Action to Restrict Smoking) is urging mothers who smoke, to do so from afar. As part of a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by a partnership between the University of Minnesota and NorthPoint Health and Wellness, Inc., Project STARS sets out to help African American parents raise their children in smoke-free homes.

Previous studies have found that, despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day than many Caucasian smokers, African Americans suffer far more from tobacco-related diseases and have more difficulty quitting. Children raised in homes where smoking is permitted are more likely to become smokers themselves.

The impact of HIV/AIDS on the African American community: Myths and facts

This past Tuesday, I was incredibly humbled and honored to be invited to the White House as a Champion of Change. As I toured the White House and met with administration officials I couldn’t help but think about how far we’ve come and how much more work needs to be done to end the HIV epidemic.

30 years later, we are still struggling with stigma, increased levels of miseducation and deep-rooted fear of those infected with HIV. Just this week, while drinking with friends and colleagues, I was reminded of how much more work we have to do when it comes to educating the public at large about how HIV is transmitted. We ordered a huge drink (bucket sized), one that came complete with six fun neon straws.  Folks were chatting, laughing and having a grand ole time. As the evening progressed, people began to forget which straws were theirs. One person exclaimed, “It’s okay if I drink from someone else’s straw—I’m not sick, its not like I have AIDS or anything!” That comment struck me like a lightening bolt… and I kept thinking, “Thirty years into this epidemic, and still, there are people that think HIV can be transmitted by drinking from the same glass or straw…”

Hunger-Free Minnesota launches unprecedented program to fight hunger

Hunger-Free Minnesota launched a three-year initiative recently with sights set on sustainably adding 100 million meals annually for hungry adults and children in the state. The organization was joined by corporations and community partners from across Minnesota that have pledged support. Hunger-Free Minnesota leaves the starting block with $3 million in financial support, a significant start toward the $20 million needed for phase one of the three-year target. 

Ramsey County selects new director of Public Health

Ramsey County Manager Julie Kleinschmidt has selected a veteran public health administrator to oversee the St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health.

Marina McManus, who has led Anoka County's Community Health and Environmental Services Department for the past 20 years, will assume the same position in Ramsey County in July.

UCare’s Salute to Excellence event honors Crown Medical Center

UCare’s Salute to Excellence event honors Crown Medical CenterAt its annual provider recognition event on May 3, UCare recognized outstanding performances by Minnesota clinics and care systems that participated in its Pay for Performance (P4P) Program.

Among the providers honored at UCare’s ’Salute to Excellence!’ event were Dr. Chike Onyekaba and Dr. Joyce Onyekaba of Crown Medical Center. This medical center, with clinics in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center and a nonprofit division as well, was recognized for Medicaid Overall Performance Quality of Care.

Central and Sheridan Neighborhood HealthSource sites are taking patients while Fremont Clinic remains closed

An inspection of the Fremont Clinic has found no major damage from Sunday’s tornado that hit north Minneapolis.  Fremont was closed on Monday and Tuesday and Executive Director Steve Knutson says Fremont will be closed again Wednesday; but will re-open as soon as power and needed data services are restored and the streets are cleared. 

In the meantime, patients are being routed to Neighborhood HealthSource’s sites in Northeast Minneapolis, Central Clinic and Sheridan Clinic. Staff has been shifted to those sites as well to help with the increase in patients. 

Federally funded Great Trays Partnership provides training to help schools buy and prepare nutritious foods

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and seven public and private partners are collaborating to bring more nutritious, kid-friendly foods into school cafeterias across the state. The Great Trays Partnership, funded by a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides training and tools to help schools statewide improve their menus and help kids eat healthier meals.

Great Trays efforts are a critical strategy to fight rising childhood obesity rates, which have tripled over the past three decades. Poor nutrition and obesity put children at risk for lifelong struggles with health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
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