Immigrant integration is a dynamic, two-way process in which newcomers and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant and cohesive communities.
Healthy Together focuses on the intersection of health, immigrant integration and social connectedness.
Healthy Together: Creating Community with New Americans was a five-year statewide grantmaking initiative designed to reduce health inequities for immigrants and improve the health and vitality of the entire community. From 2005 through 2010 the foundation awarded $5.3 million in grants to projects that foster exchanges and interactions between newcomers and the receiving community, strengthened the capacity of immigrant-led organizations and their attention to health, and addressed social adjustment and mental health. In addition, the foundation provided support and coaching to organizations so that they could better serve their clients.
We know that the health of all Minnesotans, including our newest neighbors, is a product of many interrelated factors. Social, economic and environmental factors such as culture, education and income often play a significant and decisive role in health status. Research demonstrates that social connectedness is a key determinant of health:
- Social ties play a significant role in maintaining psychological well-being
- Social networks and social supports influence mental health
- Social connectedness allows individuals through their social networks to build trust and foster a level of comfort to be engaged in their community
Through Healthy Together, the Blue Cross Foundation explored, implemented and evaluated strategies at the intersection of health, social connectedness and immigrant integration. It built on the foundation’s grantmaking experience associated with helping people with unique cultural needs navigate the health care system.
Evaluation and final results
Grantees were part of an initiative level evaluation conducted by Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry. The evaluation documented results, generated lessons for improved effectiveness and showed progress toward the desired outcomes related to health, immigrant integration and social connectedness. The evaluation by Touchstone revealed the following results:
- Stronger organizations
- Stronger systems and communities
- Stronger individuals and families
To read the full evaluation report on this initiative you my download the Healthy Together:Creating Community with New Americans report here.
The foundation is excited and proud to bring forward the lessons learned from the social connectedness work of this program into our new focus on healthy neighborhoods
IN THIS SECTION
- Healthy Children
- Access to Coverage
- Healthy Neighborhoods
- Health Equity
- Early Learnings
- Our Early Years: Responsive Grantmaking
- Our Second Decade: Grantmaking Priorities Established
- Growing Up Healthy in Minnesota
- Critical Links
- New Times, New Tools
- Healthy Together
- Resilient Organizations Fund
- Our Current Focus: Strategic Grantmaking with Upstream Focus
- Leadership Recognition