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HEALTH EQUITY

ACER's Health Equity work seeks to close the health disparities within our community by addressing the social determinants of health. Through partnerships and engagement with community members, our team aims to address the issues that result in unfairly detrimental health outcomes for BIPOC communities within the Northwestern suburbs. 

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Lana & Richard w_resident.jpg

Current Health Initiatives

Health On The Go

The Health on the Go (HOTG) initiative is an effort to create a better-coordinated ecosystem of public health players to improve access to needed services. The HOTG collaborative consists of Brooklyn Park City, Brooklyn Center City, Hennepin County Public Health, BCCS Health Resource Centre, ACER, COPAL, CAPI, and Siengkane Lao. Modeled after the successful “Rec on the Go'' program, the crux of the HOTG efforts is to develop mobile clinics where critical healthcare services such as immunization clinics, screening services, youth-specific dental check-ups, dental kits, testing kits, health education, etc are brought to community spaces. The HOTG initiatives were developed with holistic care in mind, creating a hub for essential resources such as culturally specific food, rental assistance, eviction prevention, transportation assistance (free metro cards), winter supplies, back-to-school supplies, etc. After the pilot phase of the project, ACER carried out the role of convener and facilitator to develop a Community of Practice to improve the coordination of services among the cities, county, and community organizations while increasing the ability of vulnerable individuals and households to find resources and improve their health outcomes. For questions or collaboration, contact: asasikumar@acerinc.org.

COVID Programming

ACER has played a crucial role in building COVID-19 efforts and reducing health disparities among African immigrants and other BIPOC members in our local communities. ACER currently focuses on the recovery of BIPOC communities from the pandemic by developing community health fairs, addressing pandemic-associated housing issues, and continuing COVID-19 education. ACER also continues to connect communities with resources such as transportation, rental assistance, healthcare, and employment resources. Some of the other initiatives include administering a state-wide COVID-19 trusted messenger program for the homeless community in collaboration with MICAH and being a community agent to increase COVID-19 vaccine education using funds from the CDC Foundation.

COVID-19 Test Kits

ACER is offering free rapid test kits to all community members. If you would like to receive test kits visit our offices or contact us:

 

  • 6800 78th Avenue, Suite 101 Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 

  • info@acerinc.org

  • 763-657-7711

Continuing Health Initiatives

African Memory Loss Project

The community-responsive partnership between ACER and the Families and Long-Term Care Projects (FLTC) of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health enables an understanding of the lived experiences and extent of dementia care needs and resources among African immigrants in the Twin Cities. The African immigrant community in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is growing rapidly, and yet the dementia care needs and resources of this community remain largely unknown. The goal of this project is to provide information on current dementia knowledge, caregiving practices, and healthcare utilization which will inform the development of culturally tailored community-level health promotion efforts to enhance dementia knowledge, education, and healthcare services. Update: The study conducted in 2020-2021 is based on a culturally-sensitive community conversation around dementia. The results are out and have been disseminated to the community, interesting findings include the lack of a name for dementia amongst Africans and the myths and stigma associated with the condition. The positive findings are the community resources the participants shared with the team as well as their eagerness to share these resources with the community. The results of the study bore the African Immigrant Dementia Education Project. The pilot group will receive culturally-tailored dementia education. Communities are invited to inquire about dementia education by contacting ACER: email africanmem2021@umn.edu or call 612-624-3904

Trusted Messenger Program

The trusted messenger program is an effort to equip the unhoused population and those living in congregate settings with tools to address questions and concerns regarding COVID-19. The goal is to address misinformation surrounding the disease and give people access to accurate, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, COVID testing, prevention, and treatment. The program has been funded by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and has been active in the community since September 2021. It engages the assistance of community members in becoming those trusted messengers with the help of many community organizations working in this space such as MICAH.

BikeMN

ACER inc. and BikeMN partnered to provide an adult learn-to-ride bicycling program for community members. For 4 weeks, the unsteady bikes of a few neon-helmet-wearing adults could be seen zigzagging through the open parking lot of the local Brooklyn Park church. Most of the riders were black and most were women. But they all shared the same goal to learn how to ride for the first time. The program is expected to return in the summer of 2023

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