Committed to Community Health

There is a clear, well-researched connection between our health and our surroundings —the places where we live, learn, work and play. Willmar continues to experience significant transformations, including rapid growth with increasingly diverse and ageing populations. Within the community, many are facing considerable barriers to health.

As Willmar implements community-led health initiatives, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, it is poised to be a model for other communities facing health barriers, throughout the state and nation. Blue Cross is committed to a community health initiative in Willmar, which will include three distinct, yet interconnected efforts:

  • Supporting existing work with a specific focus on improving health within segments of the community which face the greatest health disparities
  • Creating a Community Table, which will explore new and innovative approaches to improving health. This group will be comprised of a diverse group of residents who are committed to this work, but may not have had the opportunity previously to serve in formal, community leadership roles
  • Developing a Responsive Care Table, which will consider innovative ways to make the health care system more accessible and culturally responsive to all members of the community

Our Commitment

Expecting to invest up to $2 million in this initiative through the end of 2018, Blue Cross hopes its funding and involvement in Willmar can be a catalyst for the type of positive action the community has expressed interest in taking on. We’re pleased to provide the expertise of one of our staff, Wendy Foley, Senior Health Improvement Project Manager, for this exciting initiative.

Originally from the Willmar area, Wendy holds bachelor’s degrees in Community Health and Health Education, as well as a master’s degree in business administration. Her passion is living and serving in partnership with rural communities and building bridges across urban and rural organizations and communities. She’s excited to help move health and health equity forward with the Willmar community.

Funding for Moving Health Forward is provided by:

Healthy Together Willmar is one way Blue Cross is Moving Health Forward in Communities.