We live in one of the healthiest states in the nation.
Yet the disparities mean that some Minnesotans are at a much higher risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions, and are some of the greatest disparities in the United States.
Why? Marked social, economic and environmental factors can greatly impact health. This could mean living in neighborhoods where fresh, affordable produce is scarce; being part of a population heavily targeted by the tobacco industry; or living in a neighborhood that lacks safe places to walk or bike.
Such barriers cross all ethnicities, incomes, cultures and geographies—but they are disproportionately higher in some communities.
At the Center for Prevention, we take these inequities seriously. That’s why we’re integrating health equity across all our work—from funding communities to the way we address policy change at a state and local level.
Our work is based on the premise that our community partners possess critical skills and cultural knowledge. We also believe that they have a greater understanding of the solutions appropriate for their communities. We recognize that such culturally specific approaches are imperative, and we learn from our partners, approaching this work with an eye to community assets and strengths, rather than needs.
Sustainability of organizations and individuals: The sustainability of community organizations and the leaders and advocates who drive the work is key to all of our efforts.
Cultural competency and responsive systems that promote equity: We are committed to continuously working on our own intercultural competence. We also systematically evaluate the way we do our work to ensure equitable policies and practices.
Thoughtful cultural tailoring and contribution to best-practices work: While our work is grounded in evidence-based practices, we recognize that the research related to culturally specific practices is limited. We are committed to contributing to the growing body of promising and best practices, and in sharing our learnings with others.
Funding approaches that reflect the above principles: Our funding model includes both long- and short-term investments. This provides the flexibility to continuously adapt how we work with organizations. We recognize the value in simultaneously addressing both mainstream and culturally specific approaches to our work.
Minnesotans will only be a truly healthy state when all community members have the opportunity to reach their full health potential. We’re dedicated to collaborating with organizations across our state to make this a reality.