Open House Celebrates Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic

From pilot project to essential community connection, Hennepin Healthcare’s Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic hit the ground running to address a need when immunization rates began to plummet during the pandemic. On Wednesday, April 27 – just in time for National Infant Immunization Week – Hennepin Healthcare will celebrate this successful program and the ongoing heroic measures taken to ensure the health of children and families in the community.

What:              Hennepin Healthcare’s Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic’s Open House
Where:            NE Corner of 8th St. & Chicago Ave., Mpls. on HCMC’s campus
When:             Wednesday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pediatrician Dr. Dawn Martin still recalls when early in the pandemic the CDC and MDH published data showing a precipitous decrease in the number of vaccinations children were receiving. “I knew we had to bring healthcare to the community and meet our patients where they are,” she said. “Our communities, who already experience barriers to healthcare, transportation, language, and childcare were even more impacted by the pandemic. The pandemic both exposed and exacerbated these barriers.”

“The pandemic changed much of the way society functions,” explains Sheyanga Beecher, APRN, CNP, Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare. “We learned that we could have nearly everything – groceries, over-the-counter medicines, even toilet paper delivered to our doorstep. So why not healthcare?”

Beecher and Dr. Martin realize that the pandemic was very difficult for many families, but that it also created an opportunity for our health system to face the reality that there are some families still beyond the grasp of our safety net.

“I’ve learned a lot about the barriers that families face in initiating and then maintaining their healthcare,” said Beecher. “This understanding has helped me not only in my one-on-one interactions with patients, but also helped me reflect on ways that our program can affect meaningful change to patients and communities.”

The goal of the Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic has never been to duplicate services that already exist, but to supplement or enhance services. There’s been an overwhelming response to this outreach that’s developed into successful partnerships with families, other Health and Human Services departments and staff, and community stakeholders (schools, Head Start Centers, BIPOC organizations). The Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic has expanded care from mobile runs to pop-up clinics, screening and referrals and other outreach activities.

“The community, our patients, partner organizations and public health have been grateful and enthusiastically supportive of this work,” said Dr. Martin. “They have helped us adapt, better understand and meet the needs of our communities, and this project has been successful because families, community organizations and people throughout Hennepin Healthcare worked together!”

Read more about the Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic at Hennepin Healthcare’s hereforlife.blog.

Hennepin Healthcare celebrates Black Maternal Health Week with delivery of gift bags from local vendors 

New moms of color who deliver their babies at Hennepin Healthcare will receive special gift bags filled with hair care and skincare products. This effort was coordinated by Hennepin Healthcare’s Health Equity Department and will be supported by Hennepin Healthcare Foundation.  

 

“It’s part of our mission to give back to the community,” said Tianna Thompson, CEO of The Human of Color Haircare, one of the local Black vendors who will be putting together the bags. “We want to support women of color in this space and it’s a need that’s unknown. They are having children and don’t have time to go to the salon.” 

 

All inpatients at HCMC are offered toiletries for self-care. But Black patients have unique skin and hair care needs. HCMC’s Supply Chain Department is committed to diversifying this supply need and was securing minority vendors early in the pandemic, but due to issues with imports and other challenges, this process has been delayed.  

 

“Hennepin Healthcare’s Health Equity Department stepped in and coordinated the delivery of these bags to meet the needs of our women of color who deliver babies to at least cover this area in the interim,” explains Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Chief Health Equity Officer. “It is one way we can address a need and help busy moms as they welcome their newborns.”  

 

Alicia Thomas with locally owned Butter Luv Aromatics agrees. “I remember when I had my children. My skin was so dry. You just don’t feel like yourself. This is an amazing opportunity to give to women of color.”   

 

Hennepin Healthcare is a nationally recognized integrated system of care. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, Hennepin Healthcare offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including The Birth Center, where 1,651 babies entered the world in 2021.  

 

To support the delivery of these products for new moms, please go to Hennepin Healthcare Foundation’s www.hennepinhealthcare.org/designategift site and type in “Black moms gift bags” where it says “other” in the designation line.