Fairview initiative provides flu shots to the underserved: 43,000+ since 2006
Fairview provides influenza vaccinations at no charge to underserved children and adults through a community-based collaboration that began in 2006.
Fairview’s Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative (MINI) is a national model for partnering with ethnic and faith communities to help immunize people.
Last year, MINI provided vaccinations to 8,715 people at 142 flu shot clinics in multicultural settings across the greater Twin Cities and in Princeton, Minn. This year, organizers expect to provide 10,000 vaccinations.
Funding for MINI comes from grants from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Minority and Multicultural Health and Fairview Foundation—with additional support from Fairview.
Flu clinics start in October. Here is a list of upcoming clinics. Check back periodically, as flu shot clinics are added during the season. The clinics also offer pneumococcal vaccinations for people 65 and over and those with chronic medical conditions.
Our mission in action
“Fairview’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve—and this is an example of our mission in action,” says Pat Peterson, director of MINI and Fairview faith community outreach manager.
For the fourth consecutive year, MINI has been certified as a Mark of Excellence Community Vaccinator, meeting standards set by the Minnesota Department of Health.
“In the emergency department where I work, I see patients with the flu who are very, very sick—and I would like to not let this happen to anyone,” says Laurie Gahm, nurse at Fairview Northland Medical Center, who frequently volunteers at MINI clinics.
“Laurie is one of many health care professionals from Fairview who donate their time each year as volunteer vaccinators—and we could not do this without them,” says Paula McNabb, who trains and coordinates Fairview volunteers in the MINI clinics.
A national model for community partnership
Since MINI began in 2006, it has given more than 43,000 flu vaccinations and has become a national model for its work with diverse ethnic and faith communities. Of the 142 vaccination clinics MINI held last flu season, 90 were in faith community settings.
MINI has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others to help improve immunization rates among underserved populations nationwide. In 2009, MINI was replicated nationally in nine cities by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in concert with the CDC and Emory University.
Key partners with Fairview in MINI include St. Mary’s Health Clinics, Stairstep Foundation, Homeland Health Specialists, Open Cities Health Center, River Valley Nursing Center, American Indian Community Development Corporation and the Minnesota Department of Health. Many other community groups also actively help out.
“The success of MINI is due to the collaboration of diverse organizations all working together to improve immunization rates among underserved populations,” says Peterson. “None of us could do this alone.”