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Reimagining Health for Minnesota and Beyond

One of the most critical advantages we have as a University is our ability to connect and interact with people from different backgrounds and lived experiences. Bringing unique understanding and expertise together in new, creative ways is key to improving health and health care.

The Office of Academic Clinical Affairs leverages collective expertise across the University and among the diverse communities that make up our state to address complex problems. As a land-grant University, we work to eliminate disparities caused by geography, economic status, and other factors. We take everything we learn from research and clinical practice, to better educate and provide resources to advance health on a state, national, and global level.

What We Do

The Office of Academic Clinical Affairs is on the frontline of health and wellbeing in Minnesota. We:

  • serve as a liaison to the Minnesota Department of Health
  • work to integrate disciplines in health systems across the state
  • work toward sustainable partnerships and genuine community engagement
  • offer clinical trials throughout the state to improve access to care; these include the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network, trials by cancer type and StudyFinder
  • advocate for legislative action on health equity
  • partner with national organizations to improve refugee integration, and countries around the world on capacity-building projects. Recipients of our BOLD Ideas Grant Program are working to address homelessness, the opioid epidemic, rural accessibility, and more.

Outreach Activities

Center for Bioethics

The Center for Bioethics fosters public discussion about ethical issues through community engagement activities. Every fall and spring, the center offers Ethics Grand Rounds, the emerging bioethics research series, and other public symposia. The center engages news media in coverage of current events related to bioethics. Members of the center’s faculty work to promote ethical health policy, including ethics guidance for public health emergency plans for the state of Minnesota, oversight of emerging stem cell therapies, and work on health disparities and access to care for underserved populations.

Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility

The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility facilitates transdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations across the University and worldwide to create a global portfolio of research, education, and engagement.

Map of the world with markers on impact

Clinical and Translational Science Institute

CTSI’s Community Engagement to Advance Research and Community Health (CEARCH) provides an infrastructure for researchers to address health issues in ways that are truly relevant to the community. CTSI can help connect University researchers to community collaborators and get funded for community-University partnerships.

Researchers can access CTSI’s Community Research Van, designed to help research teams and community partners conduct health studies out in the community, or disseminate community-based research.

Community-University Health Care Center

Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) opened its doors in 1966 to provide primary care services to children and low income families in South Minneapolis. CUHCC serves almost 12, 000 patients a year through over nearly 60,000 visits annually. The patient population comes from over 12 different racial and ethnic groups that span five continents. CUHCC provides medical care, dental care, mental health care, legal services, advocacy for domestic abuse and sexual assault, and much more—all in one place.

Disparities in COVID-19 Response Task Force

The Disparities in COVID Response Task Force is a collaboration with the University of Minnesota system across Minnesota health departments, local and regional health care systems and communities to increase COVID testing and vaccinations in diverse communities and reduce disparity gaps by coordinating and disseminating resources on testing, mobile care and immunization events.

Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program

Minnesota Northstar GWEP serves Minnesota’s older adults, their families, and their caregivers. The program undertakes a critically important, much-needed mission—one that will call upon the passion and dedication of hundreds of providers and personnel in order to take vital steps toward ensuring Age-Friendly health care across Minnesota.

Institute for Health Informatics

The work of the Institute for Health Informatics encompasses a variety of settings from tertiary care hospitals to specialty clinics, mental health facilities, community clinics, nursing homes, and home care agencies. The institute fosters engagement with community and international partners in applying biomedical health informatics to improve health and health care.

Institute for Engineering in Medicine

The Institute for Engineering in Medicine Inspire Program seeks to inspire students ranging from 8th-graders to high school students to those in junior college, to pursue future careers in applying STEM to medicine and health care delivery, and to pursue educational pathways that would help them to achieve those career objectives.

Masonic Cancer Center

The mission of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Community Engagement and Education Program is to reduce the burden of cancer in Minnesota by engaging communities and providing them access to knowledge and information about cancer prevention, treatment, survivorship, and clinical research opportunities.

Mini Medical School

Mini Medical School offers a unique perspective into the health sciences at the University of Minnesota. Once a week, learners – ranging in age from high school students to retirees – with a shared interest in health embark on a journey examining the scientific foundations of health and disease.

Mobile Health Initiative

OACA provides leadership of this health sciences-wide effort to provide urgently needed community care initiatives to reduce health disparities.