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MHSCN Education Series | January 2023

  • 01/31/2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Registration is included in MHSCN membership

Registration is closed

Panel: Engaging Culturally Based Organizations in Public Health Outreach Efforts 

From COVID Community Coordinators at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to a switch in how child and teen checkups are promoted, health institutions are fundamentally changing the way they reach cultural communities: by engaging organizations from within the respective communities. The disproportionate effect of COVID on Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities, in particular, laid bare deep inequities in health outcomes across Minnesota and the United States. The latter combined with more awareness and recognition of systemic racism examples within health care has led health institutions to take a different approach to communications and outreach.

A panel will share examples of this change from across the community and its impact and their thoughts what it might mean for how health care organizations can improve their own communications and outreach efforts. 


  • Atum Azzahir, Founder and Executive Director, Cultural Wellness Center
  • Ashlee Jallen, Operations Director, Operations Manager, Native American Community Clinic (NACC) 
  • Mark Jackson, Director, COVID-19 Vaccination Support and Planning Manager, St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health 


  • Kristen Spargo, principal, Take Flight Communications and MHSCN board member

Overview of Panel Discussion

  • Introduction of panelists and their role in recent initiatives:
    • Cultural Wellness Center is a highly successful COVID Community Coordinator in the African American community through MDH and recently received a contract through Ramsey County to be a Trusted Cultural Community Messenger around whole-person mental health.
    • NACC has been a community engagement coordinator through MDH, working with the state agency to create vaccination material that was culturally specific to the Native American community and to promote vaccination events and community conversations. NACC is also involved in a shift in community outreach around Child and Teen Checkups through its participation in the Federally Qualified Urban Health Network (FUHN).
  • Social determinants of health and systemic racism in health care.
  • Discussion of what led to shift in approach toward outreach and communications.
    • Trusted Cultural Community Messenger and what that means.
  • Observations and results of communications efforts
  • Takeaways for health care systems, health plans and other organizations
  • Q&A
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