COVID-19 Stories of Community Outreach and Partnership
During COVID-19, staff from across the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have been reassigned to help with our public health response. Reaching all Minnesotans with important information about COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread has been a top priority. Many staff have been specifically working to provide culturally and linguistically responsive COVID-19 guidance, partnership, and updates to communities most impacted by health inequities across Minnesota, including Communities of Color and American Indians, LGBTQIA, disability, and faith-based communities.
The following stories highlight the efforts of our staff in collaboration with community partners during the COVID-19 response. Some stories provide insight into how this work is done, others discuss what challenges our teams face, but all of them recognize how COVID-19 has pushed MDH to try new strategies so we can fulfill our mission of protecting, maintaining, and improving the health of all Minnesotans.
MDH Forges a New Model of Community Partnership
MDH has partnered with more than 120 diverse media vendors and community-based organizations to engage people about health messaging as part of the COVID-19 public health response.
Writing Guidance for Hmong Funerals during COVID-19
MDH staff collaborated with Hmong cultural and spiritual leaders to develop detailed guidance for COVID-19 safety at Hmong funerals, including how to adapt funeral practices to shorter, safer services.
The Power of Lived Experience: Community Outreach for Minnesota’s COVID-19 Testing
MDH, the Governor’s Office, and community partners collaborated to set up community testing sites across the Twin Cities in June, following the murder of George Floyd. Statewide community testing continues to connect underrepresented populations to safe, no-cost testing.
A Peek into Community Testing: Equity, Partnership, and a Voice at the Table
MDH partnered with Stairstep Foundation, a trusted foundation rooted in the African American community, to host no-cost COVID-19 testing events at four different churches and prioritize community inclusion.
Pairing Community Wisdom with Access to Institutions: The Importance of the LGBTQ Community Liaisons
The MDH LGBTQ community liaison team works diligently to ensure that the LGBTQ community is connected with resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. They advocate to ensure that LGBTQ inclusion is embedded within the COVID-19 response.
Reconnecting with Indigenous Roots: Tradition and Breastfeeding during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nitamising Gimashkikinaan brings together doulas able to provide lactation and pregnancy support to Indigenous mothers and babies. The group also provides COVID-19 outreach to the broader American Indian population.