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Minnesota Health Equity Feasibility Study

The Minnesota Health Equity Project began as a bold vision to eliminate health inequities in Minnesota within a decade.

In the fall of 2018, United States of Care convened state leaders within the health care space to form a Steering Committee around this vision. That committee determined that a feasibility study and environmental scan needed to occur first to best answer the question of, “What is needed to eliminate health inequities in Minnesota within the next decade?”

Minnesota Health Equity Report

About the Study

The Feasibility Study, conducted by Wilder Research and Wilder Center for Communities, gathered information through data, interviews, and a literature review. The study also included the formation of a Pathfinders Group, which was composed of community voices and individuals who advance health equity in their work and bring the perspectives and experiences of individuals impacted by health inequities. The Pathfinders helped create the Feasibility Study recommendations and a Systems Transformation Framework, which outlined the steps needed for health care, as a sector, to have partnerships in place and infrastructure necessary to eliminate health inequities in Minnesota.

The Systems Transformation Framework includes seven key elements that address barriers to broader change and that will build the capacity of the health care sector and their partners to reduce health inequities through collaborative action by:

  • Showing leadership to address inequities through resource allocations, transparency, and a commitment to act and produce favorable results.
  • Understanding and working to dismantle structures, policies, and practices that uphold inequities.
  • Adopting practices that support whole-person care – dimensions of culture, language, sexual orientation/gender identity, and socioeconomic status.
  • Diversifying workforce and strengthening the culture of diversity.
  • Sharing power with communities to set direction and make decisions.
  • Advancing equity by addressing social determinants of health.
  • Developing financial mechanisms to incentivize the elimination of health inequities.

View the Executive Summary

View the Systems Transformation Framework

Wilder Foundation Study Page

Pathfinder Group Members:

Note: Pathfinder Group members were affiliated with these titles & organizations during the study period

  • Amy Harris Overby, Population Health Program Director, Hennepin Healthcare
  • Anika Ward, Center For Prevention Director, Blue Cross Blue Shield MN
  • Betsy McDougall, Early Childhood Consultant
  • Brian Lloyd, Clinical Education & Strategic Initiatives Sr. Manager, Health Partners
  • Kou Thao, Center for Health Equity Director, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Denise Robertson, Navigator Program Director, Health Access MN
  • Diane Tran, Sr. Director of Community Engagement, Fairview Health Services
  • Dr. Julia Joseph DiCaprio, CMO and Sr. VP, UCare
  • Karina Forrest-Perkins, CEO, People’s Center
  • Mollie O’Brien, Systems Director of Health Equity, Allina Health
  • Dr. Nathan Chomilo, Pediatrician and VP, MN Doctors for Health Equity
  • Pahoua Yang, Community Mental health & Wellness VP, Wilder Foundation
  • Santo Cruz, Community and Government Relations Executive Director, CentraCare
  • Stella Whitney West, CEO, NorthPoint
  • Tuleah Palmer, Executive Director, Northwest Indian Community Development Center

Steering Committee Members:

Note: Steering Committee members were affiliated with these titles & organizations during the study period

  • Allison O’Toole, CEO, Second Harvest Heartland
  • Andrea Walsh, CEO, Health Partners
  • Anne Kanyusik Yoakum, CEO, Hennepin Health
  • Dr. Craig Samitt, CEO, BCBS MN
  • Dave Crosby, CEO, PreferredOne
  • Senator Dave Durenberger, Board Member, United States of Care
  • Dominic McQuerry, Public Policy Director, Wilder Foundation and This is Medicaid coalition
  • Donna Zimmerman, SVP Government and Community Relations, HealthPartners
  • Gary Wertish, President, Minnesota Farmers Union
  • Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Commissioner, MDH
  • Janet Silversmith, CEO, Minnesota Medical Association
  • John Naylor, CEO, Medica
  • Jonathan Watson, CEO, MN Association of Community Health Centers
  • Dr. Kathleen Call, Professor and Investigator, UMN and SHADAC
  • Mark Traynor, CEO, UCare
  • Dr. Penny Wheeler, CEO, AllinaHealth
  • Dr. Rahul Koranne, CMO, Minnesota Hospital Association
  • Susie Emmert, Sr. Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Hennepin Healthcare and This is Medicaid coalition