Community Health Worker
Mayo Clinic Health System
I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. I have a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Benadir University in Somalia and have worked in trauma and emergency surgery including service overseas with the International Committee of Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Now I live in Mankato with my lovely wife Samsam. I have three boys, Hamza, Hisham and Hilal. I love soccer, reading and volunteering.
I earned my CHW certificate from Rochester Community and Technical College and currently work as a CHW in Mayo Clinic Health System where I serve as a central link between patients and health and social service providers, conducting home visits, facilitating health literacy workshops, and providing culturally-responsive interventions to address Somali health disparities. In addition to that, I am studying for the US medical license examination test to continue the journey of helping underserved communities as a doctor.
In addition to my professional role, I am highly engaged in the greater Mankato community serving on several area committees and boards, including Blue Earth County Mental Health Task Force, Mayo Clinic Community Cancer Research Advisory Committee, Mayo Clinic Health System Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Mayo Clinic Health System Family Medicine Quality Committee. I am a founding member of a developing grassroots group, Linking for Good, a committed group of local Somalis seeking to build bridges between the Somali and the greater Mankato community. I also serve in a leadership role as one of the Imams at the St. Peter Islamic Center and Dar Abi Baker at Mankato.
In addition to our daily work to provide the Somali community in the Mankato-St. Peter area with information on the COVID-19 virus and Minnesota’s response, we have been doing many things. These include:
- We have set up two What’sApp groups for Somali community members—one for Mankato and North Mankato and one for St. Peter. You may already know this—community members move around between these communities. A mom may live in St. Peter while here daughter lives in Mankato. This is often the case so there is a lot of movement back and forth.
- We set up a free conference call listening session to share information with the community and answer questions. We will continue to use free conference calls for meetings and for educating the community.
- We have identified people in housing complexes in Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter where many Somali families live to share information with families in the building. We use What’sApp and free conference calls to inform these key people.
What’sApp and free conference calls are good tools because people can ask questions. We find people have a lot of questions because they know something critical is happening, but they are not getting the information in Somali they need to understand. They have a lot of questions. What’sApp is very simple and used by young and old alike.
On December 4, members from the 10,000 Families Study joined us to present about their work and how it relates to the work of Community Health Workers. You can download the slides or check out the 10,000 Families Study website to learn more about their work.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trusted, knowledgeable frontline public health workers who typically come from the communities they serve. The American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes highlights the importance of CHWs in diabetes prevention and management, especially among underserved communities. This webinar will focus on integrating CHWs into the public health care workforce as a strategy for increasing health equity and access and improving population health, while decreasing costs.
Webinar # 1 – Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – 1:00 PM ET
Community Health Workers (CHWs): Strong Evidence-base for Embracing CHWs into the Public Health and Healthcare Workforce
CE Credits Available: 1.0
Durrell Fox, BS, CHW, National Association of Community Health Workers
Betsy Rodriguez, BSN, MSN, CDE, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Summarize the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommendations for interventions engaging community health workers can be used to improve health outcomes and prevent disease and increase health equity.
• Explain the roles and competencies that CHWs can play in diabetes management and type 2 diabetes prevention.
• Discuss action steps that webinar participants can take to capture the contributions of CHWs in their individual settings.
Webinar # 2 – February 2020
Diabetes 101: Resources for Community Health Workers
More information coming soon
Webinar # 3 – March 2020
What Health Care Professionals Need to Know About Addressing Diabetes & Food Insecurity: Resources for Communities in Need
More information coming soon
Dear Partners, Stakeholders, and Friends of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited to announce a new chapter in the work of the Alliance: Effective September 15, LaTanya Black will serve as our new Executive Director. LaTanya has worked in the health care sector for over 25 years and has a breadth of experience in effectively developing, operating, and promoting community engagement strategies and programs. She is a community health worker certificate holder with experience as a CHW, CHW supervisor, and owner of Compassionate Care Services. In addition, Ms. Black is a seasoned public speaker and presenter who is passionate about raising awareness around the essential contributions of community health workers.
Ms. Black has been actively involved with the Alliance for over four years and has come to know our organization well, attending local and national conferences and training and serving as the Alliance’s Community Engagement Specialist and Board Vice-chair. We look forward to a bright future with Ms. Black’s leadership, building on the solid foundation created by Ms. Joan Cleary and Ms. Anne Ganey and offer them our profound thanks for their leadership and dedication.
Secondly, I wish to share with you that the Alliance has entered into a shared services and co-location agreement with Stratis Health. The Alliance office and future trainings will now be located at 2901 Metro Drive, Suite 400- Bloomington 55425. This agreement allows for joint programming and future collaboration opportunities.
I am excited about the future of the Alliance and greatly look forward to working with Ms. Black in her new role as our Executive Director.
On behalf of our Board, thank you for all you do in support of the MN Community Health Worker Alliance. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Cathy Weik, Chair
Board of Directors
Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance
Email: email@example.com Cell: 952-853-8519