Improving preventive care access for kids
Growing Up Healthy in Minnesota is a $1.4 million, multi-year initiative to improve access to and use of preventive health and dental care among children and adolescents from communities of color, foreign-born populations and American Indian tribes. Because youth from minority, ethnic and immigrant communities are less likely to receive preventive health and dental care, they may experience lifelong health disparities.
Growing Up Healthy’s objectives are to:
- Increase access to and use of preventive services among children from ethnic and minority communities
- Remove barriers to adolescent preventive care, especially for teens from ethnic and minority communities
- Develop partnerships to address health care cultural competence in Greater Minnesota. Health care cultural competence encompasses a set of skills and behaviors including the ability to understand and respond effectively to the cultural and linguistic needs that patients and their families bring to their health care encounters.
Better preventive care access for kids and teens
To accomplish the first two objectives, the Blue Cross Foundation awarded Growing Up Healthy grants to nine organizations across the state for model projects such as school-based dental care for American Indian children and outreach services to Laotian and Hmong families. Most organizations were funded for two years.
Improving health care cultural competence
To achieve the third objective of Growing Up Healthy, the foundation has fostered health care cultural competence through these efforts:
- Critical Links: Community Health Workers Project — to promote the training and use of community health workers in Minnesota's health care system
- Center for Cross-Cultural Health — to plan and implement a community-wide model for improving provider cultural competence in Greater Minnesota; piloted in Willmar