Moblie Health Initiative vehicle

MHI Quarter 2 Report : 2022

Welcome to the 2nd UMN Mobile Health Initiative (MHI) quarterly update! 

MHI is committed to the mission of delivering high quality, low barrier, accessible care to marginalized communities. We work hand in hand with community partners to build relationships and better recognize how health care institutions can increase capacity to serve historically excluded people. This essential work promotes preventative care, vaccinations, wellness screenings, physical examinations, care coordination and other health services. 

Partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to welcome over 1,200 newly arrived Afghan refugees has been a remarkable experience. I have enjoyed welcoming them, hearing their stories, learning their culture, assessing their medical, psychosocial challenges, and coordinating primary care appointments at community health centers, including the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC). Many have established care and are completing their comprehensive refugee screening at CUHCC. I am proud to witness many new arrivals come full circle from arriving here and living in the temporary housing site to working as interpreters, case managers, and volunteering their time to helping other newcomers as they build new lives here in Minnesota.

I am truly grateful to the Mobile Health Initiative’s team and our volunteers’ commitment to serve! Keep reading to learn about upcoming activities and how you can help us continue to make a difference in the lives of Minnesota’s rich communities.

Opy Adesida, MBBS, MPH
Mobile Health Director

Education and Service-Learning

MHI provides community-based learning opportunities. All UMN health sciences professional school students can learn and contribute. One example is how 1st year medical students developed an incredibly popular and high-impact vision program. Currently, students are developing culturally-aware educational materials and helping set up a pragmatic research program on blood pressure self-monitoring and organizing information for community-specific low cost health resources.

Two new opportunities coming soon:  

  • “Equity for Vulnerable Populations Through Interprofessional Mobile Health” is a Center for Interprofessional Health course that will allow any UMN health sciences student to enroll for credit.
  • Through the Medical Education Outcomes Center .Dr. Jessica Hane will work to ensure that community-based education is applying best practices.

Reflections from a Mobile Health Initiative learner:
Christian Hannah, 4th year medical student

I have been loving my rotation with the Mobile Health Initiative so far. From well-child checks for the children of migrant farm workers to local harm reduction popups, I was able to quickly get involved and see the impact that the mobile health services make in providing people with necessary, free services that they would otherwise likely not receive. With the migrant physicals I have been able to help with patient intake, Spanish interpretation, and conducting the clinical encounter with the physician, all while working intimately with the community partners and learning what they do, their role in the community, and their overall goals. It has also exposed me to the health concerns surrounding migrant farm workers that I would have otherwise not learned.

By the Numbers

2022: Quarter 2 - Primary Language

The primary language preferred by those who visited our events April-June 2022. Our services aim to be intercultural and inclusive to the diverse communities of Minnesota.

English 50.4%, 37.4% Spanish,10.4% Somali , 1.7% other

Other languages we often see are Dari, Pashto, Hmong, and Vietnamese.

Community Partner Highlight

Community partners picture

For over 40 years, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council (TVOC) has provided education and social services to children and families throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. Caring for many migrant families, TVOC began working with many of the MHI faculty, staff, and learners over nine years ago to offer additional well-child checks and health fairs.

Every year thousands of seasonal workers and their families travel to Minnesota for the agricultural season, and TVOC is there to welcome them with Head Start education and support for pregnant parents, in addition to helping them overcome transportation and language barriers for other needed resources.

We would love to have you join us to provide dental, medical, and vision screenings this summer.

Pictured: TVOC team members in their MHI t-shirts at last year’s Elgin Migrant Health Fair.

World Refugee Day

Each year World Refugee Day is celebrated on June 20. For this year’s celebration, our team members Maggie, Hadia and Rashika were featured as USA for UNHCR refugee allies.

Meet three health care professionals who are welcoming refugees and newcomers to the Twin Cities with access to critically needed care.

Maggie, Hadia and Rashika for world refugee day


August 9
Hiawatha Collegiate High School Sports Physicals | Minneapolis
Hiawatha Academies and CUHCC

August 11
Harm Reduction Sisters Popup | Duluth
Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center, UMN Extension, and The Aliveness Project

August 13
CUHCC Back to School Event | Minneapolis

August 13
V-Fest Health Event | North Minneapolis

August 19
Migrant Health Fair | Elgin
Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, COPAL

August 20
Migrant Health Fair | Owatonna
Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, COPAL, Community Health Services, Inc.

September 3
Southside Back in the Day | Minneapolis
Power of People Leadership Institute, CAPI USA, and Messianic Care

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