College Health Corps Improving, Expanding, and Starting Campus-Community Partnerships To Create Greater Healthcare Assess and Health Literacy for Low-Income and Underserved Minnesota Populations Part Three Hawthorne Health Services
Hawthorne Health Services in Rochester is home to one of two College Health Corps VISTAs in greater Minnesota, although in the summer of 2010, the program will add two additional greater Minnesota sites. Hawthorne Health Services is located at the Hawthorne Education Center, a school in the Rochester School District dedicated to adult learners.
<ul><li>Jon Nelson serves as the College Health Corps VISTA at Hawthorne Health Services. Jon is a 2009 graduate of St. Olaf College, and now supports Hawthorne learners and their families in accessing health care. “I wanted to take a year to focus on volunteering,” said Jon. </li></ul>
Recently, Jon filmed and produced a short film for World TB (tuberculosis) Day. TB has been on the rise over the past few years in Rochester, particularly among foreign-born residents.
Along with students from southeast Minnesota, Hawthorne serves a number of immigrants and refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia, Mexico, and Central America. Many of the students come from regions where tuberculosis is thriving, and they or their families have often been affected by the disease.
The video is part of a project to provide culturally sensitive health education to the school’s learners. By improving health literacy among Hawthorne’s students and providing them with access to health services, Hawthorne believes it can improve its students’ overall health.
The project is ambitious given that there are over 70 languages spoken at the school. Yet, the video features a number of Hawthorne students who share information about the disease including their own experiences with TB. Here, an advanced literacy class participates in a scene from the video.
The video is just one of the many ways that Hawthorne is working to improve students’ access to health. Both individuals and families can access health services from volunteer doctors, nurses, and medical students from Winona State University and the University of Minnesota Rochester campus.
Jon plays an integral role in forming the partnerships, systems, policies, and procedures that help run Hawthorne Health Services, a valuable resource for the many students who lack health insurance and the estimated 85 percent of students living at or below the federal poverty level.
In addition to health services, Hawthorne also provides students with school supplies, winter clothing, immigration and citizenship support, job preparation, and driver’s license training. Most importantly, the school provides a place to learn, for the students and for the many college student volunteers that engage in service learning at Hawthorne.
Through it’s work with the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic, local government, and Winona State University, Hawthorne is a remarkable example of the power of community partnerships. Jon and the other members of the College Health Corps continue to build these partnerships every day to ensure that Minnesotans have access to safe healthcare whenever they need it.
To Learn More <ul><li>Visit Hawthorne Health Services at: </li></ul><ul><li>www.rochester.k12.mn.us/se3bin/clientschool.cgi </li></ul><ul><li>Visit Minnesota Campus Compact at: </li></ul><ul><li>www.mncampuscompact.org </li></ul><ul><li>Look for previous installments of the College Health Corps series at </li></ul><ul><li>www.mncompact.wordpress.com </li></ul>