Sixth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations:

Post-Conference Special Session Health promotion & prevention of health disparities for Minnesota’s refugee & immigrant communities

You are invited to attend a unique policy roundtable on the link between immigrant integration and healthy communities, featuring a dialogue between policymakers, service delivery experts, and representatives of refugee and immigrant communities. The roundtable is hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a grantee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation’s statewide initiative, Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans.

The Foundation has identified four social determinants of health that go beyond access to high-quality health care and healthy lifestyle: social connectedness; early childhood development; housing; and environment. NCSL is convening policy roundtables to support immigrant integration and healthy communities in two areas selected by the Foundation: early childhood education and health promotion/prevention of health disparities. The policy roundtables provide an opportunity for policymakers to meet with refugee and immigrant leaders to identify local challenges and potential solutions in health and social policy arenas.

The workshops highlight trends and promising practices at both the national and state level, followed by roundtable discussions focused on next steps for Minnesota. The project aims to increase knowledge of Minnesota’s public policymaking structure and processes among refugee and immigrant community members, leading to increased civic participation. The project also informs state and local policymakers on newcomer communities, their specific needs and priorities, as well as the assets within their communities to help address those needs.

Goals for this session: • Highlight promising practices in refugee/immigrant integration within Minnesota related to the Foundation’s initiative Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans • Discuss recent Minnesota health legislation and health policy changes and relevance for refugee/immigrant communities • Learn about integration models identified by conference participants from other states and other countries • Offer an opportunity for information dissemination and networking of a broad spectrum of state policymakers, nonprofit organizations, refugee and immigrant community leaders, and health care professionals • Through the roundtable discussion, identify priorities and potential next steps for immigrant health improvements in Minnesota.

Limited space is available for this session. There is no charge to attend this briefing, but if you are interested in attending, please contact Dirk Hegen at NCSL: dirk.hegen@ncsl.org or 202-624-5400.

Agenda
 
2:00-2:10        Welcome and Introductions
NCSL and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation describe Minnesota’s Healthy Communities project and outline the goals for today’s discussions. 
Speakers: 
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Joan Cleary
NCSL’s Immigrant Policy Project, Ann Morse


2:10-2:40        Creating Community:  Health Policy and Immigrant Integration
Illinois is spearheading a public-private model for supporting immigrant integration in the United States, with business, faith, labor, community and government partners.
Speaker:  Lisa Thakkar, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

2:40-3:30        Minnesota: Opportunities and Challenges
Minnesota state legislators report on health discussions in 2008 legislative session, including health care reforms, Minnesota’s unique community health worker program, and culturally competent health care. 
Speakers:
State Senator Linda Berglin               State Senator Mee Moua
State Representative Jim Abeler                  State Representative Thomas Huntley

 3:30-4:00        Promising Practices in Minnesota and Beyond
In an open forum, participants share successful policies and practices in refugee and immigrant integration from their state or country.  Possible topics include community health workers and medical interpreter standards.
Facilitator:  Ann O’Fallon, Minnesota Department of Health       In an open forum, participants share successful policies and practices in refugee and immigrant integration from their state or country.  Possible topics include community health workers and medical interpreter standards.Minnesota Department of Health


4:00-4:45        Roundtable Discussion:   Next Steps for Minnesota
Small group discussion among policymakers and community members to identify actionable next steps specific to health promotion and prevention of health disparities for refugee and immigrant communities.

4:45-5:00        Reports on Roundtable Conclusions
Facilitator: Joceyln Ancheta, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation

5:00                 Meeting adjourns

All meeting materials and summaries will be available online on NCSL’s website.
This program is made possible through the generous support of  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation and  The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Wednesday, September 24, 2008: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
6th Floor - St. Croix I (Minneapolis Marriott City Center)