On Nov. 16, Fairview volunteers were at the DSMA Ethiopian Orthodox Church vaccinating people for influenza at the Fairview-sponsored Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative program (MINI).
MINI brings free flu shots to community locations, such as churches or community centers, for those who might not otherwise have access. This particular clinic was for Ethiopians.
“MINI clinics provide a wonderful opportunity for Fairview volunteers to serve their community and, at the same time, experience and appreciate the rich diversity represented in our cities,” says Pat Peterson, MINI director.
“Faith-based and grassroots organizations welcome MINI volunteers, sharing rituals and traditional food. In return, MINI volunteers contribute their time and talent to fulfill a shared mission of improving the health of our communities.”
MINI began in 2006 with the goal of increasing influenza immunization rates among minority and uninsured populations in the greater Twin Cities.
This multi-sector initiative is supported by Fairview and a grant from the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative from the Minnesota Department of Health; we provide clinical and non-clinical volunteers, educational materials and the vaccine.
Last year, 8,754 people received free flu shots at more than 150 MINI clinics.
Community partners include St. Mary’s Health Clinics, Homeland Health Specialists, Open Cities Health Center, Stairstep Foundation and American Indian CDC. Community sites that host MINI clinics are responsible for providing the space and promoting the event.
MINI leaders are exploring ways to sustain this award-winning program by, for instance, partnering with HealthEast Care System and reaching out to nursing students from St. Catherine’s University.