2021 Rural Health Equity Summit

“Marginalized communities in rural areas deserve equal access to healthcare and there are significant, unique barriers to this outside the Twin Cities.” Evan Curtin, Director of WellShare’s CHW Mankato Hub.

No one organization on its own can tackle the pressing challenges of advancing racial and health equity. In partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Mankato Clinic, WellShare is developing a health equity infrastructure in rural Minnesota. Our goal is to connect more people in the Mankato area to community health workers, and bridge the gap between addressing health outcomes and the underlying social conditions that impact those outcomes.

Our innovative partnership was recently featured as the opening keynote at the 2021 Rural Equity Summit. This partnership promotes sustainable, long-lasting career pathways and inspires talented young students to see this work as a potential pathway for career development. Community health workers play an essential role in addressing the issues that create barriers to good health, so supporting a robust infrastructure for them is a key component of this work.

“Not only is this partnership working to tackle collective barriers to health, but it’s doing so in a way that is simultaneously building the long-term financial and infrastructure needs both in our communities and within our healthcare system,” said Bukata Hayes, vice president of Racial and Health Equity at Blue Cross Shield of Minnesota.

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