ST PAUL, Minn. — For many kids, losing out on in-person school also means losing out on health care. So, a program in St. Paul is working hard to make sure all students get the help they need.
“We set up shop in an open and airy space so that it's as safe as possible,” said Shawna Hedlund with Minnesota Community Care.
Minnesota Community Care has gone mobile. Their Health Start Program, located inside several St. Paul schools, is on the move.
“We can't just be a school-based health system, we have to go where the children are," Hedlund said.
The organization received a million-dollar grant to help connect with more families. Now that school is done from a distance, there's a barrier to getting care.
"Having people come to health care is a huge barrier for those that we are most interested in serving, and so this allows us to get as close to them as we possibly can and meet their needs,” Hedlund said.
St. Paul City School is a public charter school. The partnership has been working well for their students and families.
“To have a partner with Minnesota Community Care to provide direct access to vaccinations, and flu shots, and frankly connecting families to other needs that they have, has just been such a blessing for our families," said St. Paul City School Executive Director Dr. Meg Cavalier.
Minnesota Community Care says children are behind in their vaccines, they don't have access to flu shots and mental health resources.
The organization is able to provide all of that, and not turn people away, regardless of their ability to pay. And they've figured out how to make it happen in the middle of this pandemic.
“We're trying to minimize the equipment we need, advance the technology we have, and go into shared spaces where it's safe to provide care,” Hedlund said.