News and Perspectives
One day in early April 2016, Roli Dwivedi, M.D., was puzzling about why medications weren't controlling a Laotian patient's diabetes.
As medical director of the Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC) (CUHCC; rhymes with "duke"), a joint University of Minnesota-community primary care clinic in Minneapolis, Dwivedi reached out to the patient, who is in her 50s. In a long conversation through an interpreter, Dwivedi teased out the real problem: the patient's isolation and lack of understanding of her condition.
"I asked her what she knew about diabetes, and she started crying," recalls Dwivedi. "She said, 'I have no schooling. I grew up in the mountains. I never heard anything about what diabetes is.'
"I asked about her support system, and she said 'You.' And her pharmacist at CUHCC."
When Dwivedi explained that diabetes complications like blindness and amputation could mean living in a nursing home, the patient agreed to come in to CUHCC every day for two weeks. Thanks to the efforts of Dwivedi and the CUHCC care team, she is learning to manage her diabetes.
By delivering this level of care, CUHCC staff break through divides of poverty, language, race, and culture. The majority of the staff are people of color, as are most of the patients, many of whom hail from Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, as well as the United States. Founded by the University's Department of Pediatrics in 1966, CUHCC is celebrating 50 years of fighting the good fight: for the poor, the uninsured, the former refugees—and against lingering racially and socioeconomically based health care disparities.
CUHCC patients receive a full range of primary medical and dental services—including outpatient mental health services—from University doctors, nurses, dentists, health professions students, and other practitioners. Dwivedi herself is an assistant professor in the U's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Patients who need more advanced care receive appointments through University of Minnesota Physicians.
The Aurora Center will be offering a new support group this summer for survivors of sexual assault or abuse who identify as male. This support group is free and confidential. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact The Aurora Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-626-2929, or stop by Appleby Hall 117. 24-hour helpline: 612-626-9111.
Over 100 graduate students, faculty and University administrators convened at Coffman Memorial Union on April 5 to explore issues related to diversity and inclusion in graduate and professional education at the annual Graduate and Professional Education Assembly: Achieving Excellence through Diversity. Read the story.
Many in communities of color say wise investments in education, workforce initiatives and social supports paired with common sense policy changes could begin to address the state’s racial disparities. But they say new efforts should be focused directly on the people they aim to help. Read the full Pioneer Press story. U student Julie Vang is featured.
by Traci Thomas-Card, The Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education/Boynton Health Service
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is a busy time for me as the prevention program coordinator for a sexual violence agency. It is often a heartening time for me, as I get to see people from all around the city, state and nation join together to collectively work to end sexual violence. Earlier this week, I was speaking with a group of students who are passionate about making sure their peers have the skills and knowledge to intervene when they see a situation that may lead to sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking. They have been working on a course project over the semester and had chosen sexual assault as their topic. When they realized just how prevalent sexual violence is (for instance, 47.9% of UMTC students reported experiencing sexual harassment), they needed to do something about it. As someone who has worked in the anti-sexual violence movement for over a decade, I want to emphasize how new the idea of openly having conversations about sexual assault prevention is. It is the time of year that is nationally recognized as a month to “call attention” to sexual assault. That sexual violence affects people of all genders, races, ethnicities, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. That the impact of sexual violence is far greater than we ever imagined, and that something must be done to prevent it.