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Category : Community Engagement

2018 Legislative Session Recap
This is Medicaid groupIn even years the Minnesota Legislature is under no constitutional obligation to convene, but they typically meet to pass a bill to finance capital infrastructure, policy items, and perhaps a small budget bill. This year’s session began with a $323 million budget surplus and was expected to be a relatively quiet, outside of determining Minnesota’s response to the federal tax bill passed in late 2017. How Session Closed The 2018 MN legislative session closed with a flurry of action over the final hours of May 20 with a final product of three bills which encompass nearly all of the major policy priorities for the session. On Wednesday, May 23, following through with his initial comments, Governor Dayton vetoed two of these large bills: the omnibus tax and supplemental budget proposals....
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Welcome to Minnesota’s Newest Mental Health First Aid Instructors
Logo provided by Mental Health First Aid​Thousands of Minnesotans are faced with mental health concerns for the first time each year – personally, professionally, or both. Many feel ill-equipped to respond and don’t know where to turn for help. That’s where Mental Health First Aid brings knowledge, resources, and hope to communities. Thanks to leadership and support from the Department of Human Services, Wilder hosted an extensive training that welcomed twenty-eight social service professionals as Minnesota’s newest Mental Health First Aid instructors. What Is Mental Health First Aid? Mental Health First Aid is a training program created in 2008 by the National Council on Behavioral Health in response to the need for accessible, introductory information on responding to mental health concerns.   Over the course of an eight-hour training day, participants learn about risk...
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Amid Opioid Epidemic, Many Minnesota Women Face Other Addictions
A close-up image of a young child and mother smiling.The opiate epidemic looms large in Minnesota. In 2016 alone, opioid overdoses accounted for 395 deaths in our state, an increase of 12% from the previous year. Yet results from Wilder Research’s 5-year study of women served by the Women’s Recovery Services (WRS) grant show that some women across the state continue to face addictions to other drugs at much higher rates. From 2011-2016, methamphetamines, alcohol, and marijuana were the preferred and most commonly used drugs among women served by the WRS grant, and preliminary results from 2017 are showing similar trends among WRS women. Meth, marijuana, alcohol prevalent among women served by grant Through grants from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Women’s Recovery Services initiative serves pregnant and parenting women (and their families) with...
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Expertise on Caregiving is Incomplete without the Perspective of Caregivers
On a cold, icy evening in St. Paul, a crowd of Minnesotans gathered to talk about family caregiving, specifically the “caregiving sandwich” which translates to those caring for aging parents and children leaving them ‘sandwiched’ in their role as mother/daughter, son/father.  This wasn’t a support group, it was a social venue known as “Policy and a Pint” hosted by Citizen’s League and Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current.  “Sandwich caregiving” is just one of many scenarios of family caregiving. This topic of caregiving seems so straightforward.  But when complications of employment, multi-generational caregiving including grandparents or extended family, health issues, financial concerns, housing, or even resource access barriers arise, caregivers find themselves overwhelmed and uncertain to know where to turn and what to do next.  Caregiving can...
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Preparing Immigrants and Refugees for Public Health Emergencies in Hennepin County
Recent public health emergencies have highlighted the continuing need for public health officials to further improve communications with immigrant and refugee communities about the importance of being aware and prepared for infectious disease outbreaks, dangerous weather, public shootings, and other community emergencies. In 2016, Wilder Research was contracted by Hennepin County Public Health Emergency Preparedness to conduct a study about emergency preparedness planning with nine immigrant and refugee communities in the county (Mexican, Hmong, South Asian Indian, Somali, Ethiopian, Oromo, Guinean, Liberian, and Sierra Leonean). The goal was to gather information about the culturally specific needs and communications practices of these communities to inform policies, practices, and communications related to public health emergencies. Wilder Research interviewed 25 professionals and community leaders who work with immigrants...
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​Hello Fellows: Meet Damon Shoholm
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential.In March 2017, Wilder awarded fellowships to six employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the most recent cohort of Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Damon Shoholm. What is your role at Wilder? I’m a director of Leadership Programs at Wilder. I work in concert with Nou Yang of the Youth Leadership Initiative to administratively and programmatically shape the suite of leadership programs that Wilder offers to a greater community. Tell us about your background. Before coming to Wilder, my...
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Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County: Research as a Tool for Planning and Partnership
A group of six sits around a table having a discussion.Most researchers and evaluators do the work they do hoping it will be used to improve the lives of others and not end up sitting on a shelf. So I was thrilled when Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) said they wanted to host a series of community forums to share results of the recent community needs assessment they contracted Wilder Research to conduct. Needs assessment will inform work in expanded service area At the direction of Governor Dayton, Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) grew out of the organization formerly known as Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County (CAPSH) to serve Minneapolis in addition to suburban Hennepin County.   Community Action Partnership agencies are federally mandated to conduct a community needs assessment every...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet MK Nguyen
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the most recent cohort of Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with MK Nguyen. What is your role at Wilder? I am a program manager in the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN). I help people understand why culturally responsive opportunities matter in a young people's success in school and life. My role is to support participation of parents and partners to advance in...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Chong Lee
​Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Chong Lee. What is your role at Wilder? I’m a program manager for the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. I manage our partnerships. I manage contract agreements and provide logistical supports to partner programs. One of the roles that the Promise Neighborhood plays in all of our partnerships is support for infrastructure and capacity building....
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Immigration, Communities, Foundations
All communities experience immigration. No question whether it will occur, just when and how much. Some of us arrived as immigrants ourselves to a new nation; the rest of us descended from ancestors who came from somewhere else, to settle in a land still pristine or already inhabited. Political events, economics, wars, environmental changes, and other events cause people to move, voluntarily and involuntarily. Worldwide trends suggest that immigration will continue on a major scale, with implications for nations and for their constituent regions and communities. Since 1990, the immigrant population in the United States has doubled; in Minnesota during that same period, the immigrant population quadrupled. Speaking for Ourselves Study Using newly gathered information from the Wilder Research “Speaking for Ourselves” study, in combination with data from...
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