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Building Healthier Communities Awards

Promoting a culture of health care quality and patient safety in Minnesota

Stratis Health awarded five grants, totaling nearly $70,000, to Minnesota nonprofits through its 2019 Building Healthier Communities program. Stratis Health’s community benefit program supports initiatives that promote a culture of health care quality and patient safety in the state.

“All of Stratis Health’s grant awards this year advance health equity or patient and family activation,” said Jennifer Lundblad, PhD, MBA, president and CEO, Stratis Health. “Action in these two areas is essential for transforming care.”

This year’s awards will have both regional reach and local impact.

  • Care Providers of Minnesota received funds to develop community advisory boards in assisted living at three pilot sites, working in partnership with the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) and the State Ombudsman for Long Term Care. The pilots will build on best practices for engagement and inform a replicable statewide model.
  • CHI St. Gabriel’s Health in Little Falls, will develop and implement a clinician-to-clinician education and coaching series using Project ECHO—a hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing network model—for opioid prescribing providers who have been identified by the Minnesota Department of Human Services as needing performance improvement to modify opioid prescribing practices.
  • Circle in the Field Media will use its funds to help produce a short video for individuals who are making a decision about whether to become a caregiver for a loved one at end-of-life. Stories from a diverse group of individuals will offer support and encouragement. The video will offered free of charge.
  • Keane Sense of Rhythm will host four low-cost tap dance classes through St. Paul Community Education locations. Its Tappy Hour for Better Health dance program will use an Afro-American dance form to build brain power, balance, bone mass, and cardiovascular health among participants.
  • MAPS will work with Lakewood Health System to engage community members and patients to co-design processes and communication for improved diagnostic test management following an emergency department visit.

Stratis Health is committed to being a responsible and engaged community member. These annual grant awards support that commitment. Board and staff members submit nominations that align with Stratis Health’s mission and vision, advance our work and relationships, focus on Minnesota, and benefit the community by making lives better.

residents getting a ride on trishaw bicycles

Highlighted projects from 2017

Cycling Without Age at the Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis

Through a Building Healthier Communities grant in 2017, Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis (MVH) embraced a new resident enrichment program in which residents and family members ride as passengers in electric-assisted trishaw bicycles piloted by volunteer bicyclists. MVH became the first urban Cycling Without Age chapter in Minnesota, joining three out-of-state communities offering this program.

“We are excited to have the trishaws and have delighted in the pleasure they’ve brought to the passengers who have been on them,” shared Erin Betlock, MVH volunteer services coordinator.

Community Advance Care Planning

Building Healthier Communities funds helped support education and training to promote advance care planning (ACP) in the Aitkin-Crosby area in 2017. This work, led by Riverwood Healthcare Center and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, encouraged patients to complete a health care directive and to pursue ACP with their family members and health care providers.

Because of the education, patients feel better equipped to have conversations about their end-of-life preferences, they feel motivated to complete their ACP, and feel ACPs avoid hardship and stress at end-of-life situations. Staff can better understand what is important to their patients at their end of life. Riverwood Healthcare Center’s data shows an increase in patient encounters with health care directives and a decrease in readmission rate.