With more than 70 representatives from 40 organizations across Rice County in attendance, the inaugural Community Services Resource Fair was a huge success! 

 HealthFinders’ Community Engagement team was pleased to welcome a number of familiar and new faces from organizations including Neighbors United, Allina Health, Growing Up Healthy of Northfield, and more. The Community Resource Bank of Northfield donated its conference space for representatives to gather for networking and collaborating. 

 The Resource Fair began with an hour of introductions, with each representative sharing their current projects as well as outlining areas where they were seeking assistance.  

 Following the compelling introductions, the attendees were given the opportunity to network in a fast-paced, “world-café” model of sharing and spreading ideas. Posters decorated the walls of the conference hall with topics centered on the social determinants of health. Attendees visited topics posters they felt were most important to identify challenges and ideas for solutions. 

 The final session included a large-group discussion of topics and solutions to specific challenges in Rice Country voted the most important by the attendees. HealthFinders hopes to find ways to work alongside as many community organizations as possible to provide the best resources to their patients. 

Olivia Frey, secretary and representative of Neighbors United, was delighted to be a part of the Community Services Resource Fair: 

“My heart has been breaking over and over in the last couple of weeks [referring to current news], and I just want to say that I’m so happy and inspired to be here listening to you all, seeing your faces, and hearing about the things you are doing and the services that you provide.” 

 In organizing the event, the overall goal of HealthFinders’ Community Engagement team was to introduce different organizations to each other and build collaboration across these groups. With overwhelmingly positive feedback from the attendees of the Community Resource Fair, HealthFinders looks forward to contributing further to the progress that will come from the connections made, to help improve access to resources for the under served in Rice County. To that end, HFC will be compiling an online directory of community resources, and hosting a forum to continue collaboration and discussion around the social determinants of health.

To find out more about the event, check out our coverage on the Faribault Daily News!