Helping to create a community of health and wellness in Minnesota

A health and wellness hub in St. Paul

It’s an unfortunate but true reality: Oftentimes, communities do not always have adequate access to the health and social services that best meet their needs – especially underserved communities with diverse populations. In an effort to target health disparities and remove barriers, Fairview Health Services established the Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub in 2022, which offers direct access to health care services, social programming resources and more to help improve the well-being of community members.

The Hub sits in downtown St. Paul on the site of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital, and is also home to the M Health Fairview Center for Community Health Equity.

As part of its Communities of Health initiative, UnitedHealthcare partnered with Fairview to identify the needs of the community and supported the design of the healthcare and social programming services at the Hub to meet the most vital community priorities. In addition to an initial $1 million infrastructure investment, UnitedHealthcare continues to partner with Fairview and other local health care and community organizations to address the systemic issues of health disparities and social determinants of health.

The services available at the Hub target high prevalence issues in the community, such as living with type 2 diabetes, 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.

The Fairview Community Health and Wellness Hub also works in collaboration with a number of community partners to improve access to programs that address health disparities. This includes:

  • Minnesota Community Care, the state’s largest federally qualified health center, 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.
  • The Sanneh Foundation operates food storage, distribution and pop-up food shelves 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, operates a first-of-its-kind model of adult day services in the state of Minnesota. The program, called Daybreak of St. Paul, will help underserved seniors maintain active and independent lives through an enhanced adult day experience.

“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,” said Brett Edelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Employer & Individual plans. “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.”

A year later, the Hub has created an integrated point of access to better health and wellness services, including:

  • Providing 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.
  • Collaborating with Fairview and other Food Hub partners to provide 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.
  • Actively supporting 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.

For more information about the one-year anniversary, visit the UnitedHealth Group Newsroom

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