Lakes area community health

Fairview Lakes Community Health Outreach provides education and support for schools and other community programs within Chisago County, southern Pine County, northern Washington County and northeastern Anoka County. Some of the communities impacted by our community health outreach programs are:  Lino Lakes, Lindstrom, Forest Lake, Hugo, Chisago City, Center City, Rush City, Pine City, Wyoming, North Branch, Taylors Falls.

We partner with local community partners to help with suicide prevention and tobacco cessation, provide senior programs and organize mentorship programs and curriculum in area schools.

Lakes area
Chisago, Pine, Washington and Anoka counties

Contact us
Carla Norelius, Community Health Outreach Manager
651-257-8806 (direct line)

Kathy Bystrom
651-257-8439 (direct line)
651-257-8495 (fax number)

Lakes area initiatives

Friends Make a Difference Mentoring Program

A youth mentoring program at Fairview Lakes Hospital is helping to improve the lives of youth in the Lakes community. The program, which started with monthly lunches with local elementary school students, quickly gained support throughout the community and now has 14 mentoring sites and a board of experienced professionals lending their skills in all areas. During the 2008-09 school year, 230 mentors/students were paired up and more than 1,000 students have received mentors since the beginning of the program.

The program’s goal is to facilitate healthy development of at-risk youth by providing adult mentors who can act as a friend, provide personal and professional advice, and lend an ear. Research indicates that, if given the opportunity to engage in a trusting and caring relationship, youth will benefit in multiple areas of their lives.

Survey data has indicated a change in student perception and behavior. As a result of the program, 81% of students felt that there were adults that cared about them and 65% indicated that they were better able to express their feelings due to the program. 91% of parents felt that the mentoring program increased their child’s self esteem and 90% responded that their child felt that they have more options for the future.

Forest Lake Elementary School principal, Jeff Ion, says, “The benefits of the mentoring program at FLE are many.  Students establish positive relationships with adults in the community that go on for years and benefit the students socially and academically.  While it only formally occurs every two weeks, it is greatly anticipated by the students involved."

Introduction to Health Care Careers Course

A feasibility study, conducted in 1998 by Forest Lake High School and Fairview Lakes Medical Center, indicated that there was strong parent and student interest in developing a health careers course. An Introduction to Health Careers Course was soon born. Students receive clinical training (including CPR and first aid training) and complete 75 hours of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) coursework. Students experience twelve hands-on site visits to explore health care careers. Students who complete the course are eligible to take the nursing assistant certification testing and can receive credits at many Minnesota colleges.

The class expanded and is now offered at Chisago Lakes High School and North Branch High School as well.  All three high schools report that there is always a waiting list for the course. To date, over 700 students have successfully completed the class. 97% of those students report that they plan to pursue a health care career. 

Startup costs for the course were provided by Fairview. The program has received funding from United Way, Initiative Foundation, Minnesota Department of Health and local businesses.  The program has been recognized, winning the 2003 Minnesota Hospital Association Health Care Career Promotion partnership award, the 2004 Spirit of Excellence Sodexho Award and was a finalist for the 2002 American Hospital Association NOVA award.

Fairview Lakes Medical Center is a strong partner in this program, coordinating the start-up, equipping classrooms, providing instructors and overall facilitation of the process.

Learn more about Fairview Lakes Medical Center.

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