HealthFinders recently collaborated with the Growing Up Healthy organization to host a ‘Somali round table’ event at the Faribault Public Library. This event was an opportunity to meet with members of the local Somali community to share and discuss health issues that affect them, as well as to discover ways in which HealthFinders can more effectively address these issues. Thirty-nine members of the Somali community, including a number of community leaders, gave HealthFinders and Growing Up Healthy insight into health issues that impact their community.

HealthFinders Collaborative believes in the inherent capacity of our patients and communities to support health and wellness. Community based events such as this Somali round table are vitally important in fostering open communication between HealthFinders and the local community. These discussions give vital information about issues facing the Somali community. In response to the feedback given, HealthFinders is hoping to assist with diabetes education and will continue to work to make health information accessible for the Somali community.

Having open communication with the public is critical for community organizations to provide the best services possible. As HealthFinders Community Health Worker, Yakub Aden explained,

“It is important to hear from the community and translate that into policy and programs. We found that a community forum like this, is a very effective way to do that.”

According to Aden, “this forum is not only conversation about health, but also general well-being including issues such as social security welfare. Hearing about other issues, such as problems with housing for large families, is useful because we can share this information in our meetings”.

HealthFinders plans to have a series of similar events to further engage people in conversations about their health. Since the round table, community members who wanted to carry on the conversation about health were already requesting another community-based discussion.  Somali community members at the forum expressed they were thankful for HealthFinders’ work in their community, and would like our services to expand even further. We look forward to continuing these conversations and using the information gathered from these forums to improve our services.