HealthyLiving Minneapolis network helps people connect to ways to stay healthy

An initiative led by the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support (MDHFS) is creating partnerships across public health, clinics, and community organizations to help people get to and maintain a healthy weight, and to quit smoking.

Beginning in August, a network of affordable and accessible community organizations began partnering with five clinics to connect Minneapolis residents to community-based resources to help them get and stay healthy. The HealthyLiving Minneapolis network aims to connect more patients to community organizations that help them select and enroll in programs that meet their health needs.

HealthyLiving Minneapolis brings together a group of public free and low-cost community resources that help people eat healthy, be active and stop smoking and makes it easier for clinics to link patients to them. While some communities around the nation have clinic systems that link patients to one resource (like parks or farmers markets), HealthyLiving Minneapolis links patients to a collective of resources throughout Minneapolis that help address a variety of healthy behaviors. This innovative approach was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Minnesota State Community Health Services Advisory Committee. 

HealthyLiving Minneapolis organizations are each partnering with one or two clinics to pilot a new process for patient referrals to help them eat better, move more or stop using tobacco. Through participation in the MDHFS Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), the pilot clinics have instituted processes to talk to patients about reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and systematically refer them to relevant community programs and services. The pilot clinics also have a track record for increasing referrals: 43 percent of providers/staff at participating SHIP clinics reported increased referrals to obesity resources and 28 percent reported increased referrals to tobacco resources, compared to a year ago. HealthyLiving Minneapolis further simplifies and facilitates this referral process by linking clinics to an organized group of community resources.

Through the pilot, clinics will partner with HealthyLiving Minneapolis in a variety of ways.  Neighborhood HealthSource, with three clinic locations in North and Northeast Minneapolis, plans to partner with Park Recreation Centers and Community Education sites to refer patients to nutrition and exercise classes. Neighborhood Involvement Program, a clinic that serves uninsured patients through volunteer providers, is interested in partnering with the YMCA Blaisdell location to link patients to memberships. The People’s Medical Center will pilot referrals to the entire HealthyLiving Minneapolis network.  The HealthyLiving Minneapolis network plans to partner with more clinics in Minneapolis once these pilots are complete.

HealthyLiving Minneapolis, developed as a part of SHIP, provides both an umbrella label and an infrastructure for supporting residents by linking clinics with key resources to help patients achieve health behavior goals and ultimately better health. Baseline SHIP data showed lack of provider knowledge of available community resources was a key barrier to them talking to their patients about healthy lifestyles. HealthyLiving Minneapolis removes this barrier and supports medical providers in giving information to their patients about how to get and stay healthy.  

The network’s resources, along with similar resources statewide, are listed and updated online at www.MNHelp.Info

List of Partners

HealthyLiving Minneapolis Network Organizations

Organizations partnering with clinics to provide services to patients:

HealthyLiving Minneapolis Partners

Other partner organizations that have helped with the planning and development of the network:

Published Sep 26, 2011