For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Citizen Health Care / Families in Democracy Projects

African Family Health, Child Success

This project emerged from concerns of African immigrant community leaders in northwest Hennepin County about their children's mental health. The citizen action group identified the goal of breaking the silence in the community about the ongoing impact of war and trauma on children and families. The group developed a public performance with youth acting out their stories and those they had heard about, with big picture commentary from an elder. This was followed by a community conversation about challenges and resilience in the face of war and trauma. Evaluation underway.

A.N.G.E.L.S.: A Neighbor Giving Encouragement, Love & Support

This initiative, started in 2002, encompasses providers working in partnership with teens who have diabetes and their parents to connect with families who are struggling with diabetes to others who have lived experiences with the disease. Its mission is to empower and support adolescents and their families as they traverse the crisis of diagnosis and adjust well in early phases of diabetes management. These efforts begin at the time of diagnosis – generally in the context(s) of emergency hospitalization – and continue across a variety of patient/family combinations (adolescents with adolescents, parents with parents, families with families) on and off hospital grounds.

Baby Boomers for Balanced Health Care

This group of citizen Baby Boomers believes that out-of-control health care spending will bankrupt our country unless we all take responsibility for changing how we think about and use health care. Project website coming soon.


This initiative (started in 2005) involves parents in Apple Valley and nearby suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul organizing with a mission to liberate their kids from out of control sports schedules and to change the culture of hyper-competitive childhood by replacing busyness with balance.

Birthdays Without Pressure

This initiative, started in 2006, involves parents in St. Paul, MN organizing against out-of-control birthday parties. Its mission is to raise awareness of the problem of out-of-control birthday parties, to offer alternative, and to launch a local and national conversation about the problem. Visit the project website.

Citizen Father Project

In the summer of 2007, a group of high achieving fathers involved in the FATHER Project and several fatherhood professionals came together to start a citizen engagement and leadership development project with the goal of creating a community action project to impact the problem of too many fathers not being positively involved in the lives of children. View the Citizen Father Project brochure (PDF) for more information.

Citizen Health Care Home

Based in HealthPartners' Como Clinic, this project has developed a framework for deeper engagement of patients in the Health Care Home. This citizenship has three levels: personal and family responsibility for one's own health care, a vehicle to do health care together via peer Health Goal Groups, and opportunities for patient leadership development and co-responsibility for the health mission of the clinic. The leadership group has created an Active Member Project to engage citizen patients in the mission of the clinic, and is developing an Experienced Patient Project to tap the knowledge and wisdom of patients who have something to offer those facing similar challenges.

Community Engaged Parent Education

This initiative, begun in 2004 and supported by the McKnight and Bremer Foundations, engaged parent educators in developing citizen awareness and civic action in parents across Minnesota. Its mission was to encourage citizen deliberation on public issues relating to children's well being. Visit the project page.

Family Formation Project

This initiative encompasses at-risk urban unmarried couples with children in Minneapolis and St. Paul being mentored by experienced married couples and forming their own leadership group. Its mission was to promote stable family formation and healthy marriage in urban couples who desire this for themselves. The initiative, which began in 2004, has received by federal and state funding, and has been concluded.

Family Health, Child Success

This CBPR initiative involves parents and professionals organizing to promote child wellbeing among sub-Sahara African immigrant families in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Started in 2007, its mission during its first stage of development is to design and pilot a project that accesses the resources of the community to meet challenges facing African families and children.

FEDS: Family Education & Diabetes Series

This health promotion initiative was created through the collaborative efforts of providers affiliated with the University of Minnesota and local leaders in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis American Indian community. Begun in 2001 and funded through a variety of internal and external grant monies, it works to engage low-income, urban-dwelling American Indians and their families in an active forum of education, fellowship, and support. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of American Indian people through diabetes education, fellowship, and support in manners that embrace their heritage, values, and culture.

Hennepin County Citizen Professional Project

The goal of this initiative is to increase the capacity of Hennepin County for community engagement by expanding training in democratic, civic engagement that activates the resources of the community to solve health and social problems. Initiated in 2010 through the efforts of the Hennepin/University Partnership, we have worked with a group of six Hennepin professionals to learn the core principles and craft of Citizen Professional work. This group is now generating projects that engage communities in the following areas: reducing youth violence in the American Indian community; improving the health of African American women in the Brooklyn Center area; school readiness in the Latino community; and high school retention in the Latino community. Now that this pilot project has demonstrated proof of concept that Hennepin professionals can develop their capacity for democratic engagement with communities outside of a conventional service delivery mode, we plan to transition into a second phase in which we add six additional participants. As current and new professionals engage in this work, we anticipate that all involved will be able to serve as resources to other Hennepin County professionals in this new way of working with communities.

HWUAD: Hmong Women United Against Depression

This initiative, begun in 2005, engages local providers and representatives of the St. Paul Hmong community in a collaborative partnership oriented to investigating, understanding and improving the lives of patients and refugees who are struggling with a variety of life stressors related to depression, chronic physical health problems, and psychosocial difficulties associated with relocation. Its mission is to tap the wisdom and resources of the St. Paul Hmong community to empower, support, encourage, and offer hope to Hmong women and their families who live with depression.

Intervention Approaches to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Southeast Asian Communities

This initiative partners four Southeast Asian communities in Minneapolis/St. Paul: Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese in a mission to design and carry out pilot projects on tobacco use that call upon the culture resources of Southeast Asian communities. Funded by the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, this work was first launched in 2006.

Paha Sapa: Play it Forward!

Community members in the Paha Sapa neighborhood meet bi-weekly to engage in active play together. They participate in "pick-up" games, yoga, kite flying, snow soccer, dodge ball, kickball, dancing bonfires and night games such as kick-the-can. You name it, they have done it! Desired outcomes/goals of the initiative include: more spontaneous physical activity and play; more positive child behaviors; more community support for parenting, and a stronger sense of community (which includes more trust and support between neighbors, a sense of pride in being a leader for healthy lifestyles for kids, and active use of local resources).

Parenting Partnerships

First begun in 2007, this initiative targets urban parents of teenagers in North Minneapolis. Its mission is to promote healthy behaviors in at-risk teenagers. This initiative uses multi-family mentoring with parent/teenager groups within the community to address violence and high-risk behaviors in youth.

Putting Family First

Parents in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, began organizing this initiative around the problem of overscheduled kids in 1999. Their mission is: "Putting Family First works to raise awareness about the crucial connections between parents and children, and helps families find balance in their lives." Visit the project website.

S.A.N.T.A.A.: Students Against Nicotine and Tobacco & Alcohol Abuse

This initiative, started in 2006 and funded by ClearWay-Minnesota, engages local providers in partnership with students, teachers, and administrators in the HHH St. Paul Job Corps community to address on-campus smoking and alcohol abuse (and the concomitant reduction of students' stressors and the adoption of healthier lifestyles). Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of students at Job Corps through smoking cessation, education, stress reduction, and support.

S.M.A.R.T.: Sexually Mature and Responsible Teens (Citizen Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project)

Based at South High in Minneapolis, this group has developed messages and peer outreach strategies to address teen pregnancy as a community problem. Starting with a boys group and girls group separately, the two groups combined to develop their action steps. Supported by the Minneapolis Department of Health.

STORKS: Sisters Together Overachieving in Raising Kids

This initiative targets at-risk urban single pregnant teens in North Minneapolis. Its mission is to promote healthy child development in children with teenage mothers and to provide community support for young single mothers. It began in 2004 and ended 2006.