MN Steps Outside Doctor's Office to Improve Health Outcomes
Monday, May 8, 2023
Research keeps emerging about social determinants of health, including a new study linking these factors to suicide risks. In Minnesota, nonprofits and small businesses are tapping into funding to carve out solutions beyond medical settings.
The American Heart Association is carrying out the latest wave of support from its Social Impact Fund.
Sue Speakman-Gomez is the president of HousingLink, which connects renters around Minnesota with affordable housing. She said stability on this front paves the way for someone to get easier access to health care.
She added that the fund allows them to sustain a program that helps individuals with a troubled past become a good fit for landlords.
"It positions us just to be able to grow the program to serve more households," said Speakman-Gomez, "because we have that financial sustainability locked in place."
Her group was one of three Minnesota organizations recently awarded grants.
Meanwhile, a new University of Chicago study reveals a higher suicide rate when comparing the most socially vulnerable counties to ones not as vulnerable.
And the Heart Association says about 50 million U.S. residents are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack basic necessities.
Another current fund recipient is The Price Dynamic, which offers coaching services for single and co-parenting families.
Founder and CEO Alysha Price said they want to give children stable primary caregivers, no matter the situation. She said that can reduce the long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences and end the cycle of harmful family dynamics.
"Some of those early conversations with their child about what is their family going to look like," said Price, "helping to shape and create a new vision and a new family mission for how to break some of these cycles."
She said the extra support is helping them scale up a program that assists families going through custody transitions or divorce and the need to satisfy court mandates.
The third fund recipient is the Dream of Wild Health operation, which restores well-being in the Native community by providing access to healthy Indigenous foods and medicines.
The Heart Association is beginning the application process for the next funding cycle.
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