Mankato— September 14, 2022— Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) and the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) are regional institutions that value health and wellness. Both institutions have strengths to lend to this partnership as they seek to provide opportunities for children and families to gain greater awareness about health and wellness and develop skills that will be beneficial to them now and in the future.
“This partnership between MCHS and CMSM brings together staff, volunteers, and resources, and utilizes shared messaging, access to experts, and intentional programming to positively impact the health and wellness of children and families in our region,” said Kim Kleven, CMSM Vice President of Education and Learning Experience.
Dr. Erin Westfall, Associate Program Director/Director of Osteopathic Education, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, and Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency – Mankato, said the partnership is beneficial for all involved.
“Number 1: we get to play with kids and families (and sometimes goats).” she said. “Health happens in the community. We are absolutely committed to working with community partners to improve the health and well-being of our community. Community work is inspiring and energizing work for us here at the residency program. Our residents have this wonderful opportunity to learn about child development while also being able to use their knowledge to playfully teach what they’ve learned about health and wellness. So, the benefit is really multidimensional – we get to engage our community and learn from our community members, which will hopefully not only help our children and families develop the knowledge and skills to achieve optimal health, but also help to develop our residents into better family physicians through improving their communication skills and helping them to experience the benefits of community engagement first hand,” Westfall said.
This partnership resulted in several programs that were held this summer and will continue into the fall. They include Healthy Habits, Sun and Bike Safety, Heart Health and Eating Well. The programs also include Wellness and Career Exploration along with a Baby Play partnership that supports parents and caregivers of infants.
Christi Wilking with Mayo summed up the partnership by adding, “Mayo Clinic Health System partnered with the Children’s Museum with the goal of providing opportunities for children and families to gain greater awareness about health and wellness and develop skills that will be beneficial to them now and in the future. The Museum is a place where families gather and it is a natural place to share messaging and programming to improve health and wellness.”
She adds, “Mayo Clinic Health System strives to be the most trusted healthcare partner in the community. By providing trusted education and programming, Mayo Clinic Health System aims to improve the health and wellness of children and families in our region. Our providers get to interact with families and learn from them as well. Our regional children, families and community benefit. An example would be having a family medicine physician attend Baby Play and guests being able to ask questions about breastfeeding and nutrition. Another example is around non-school day programming that aims to inspire children to look at careers in healthcare by checking blood pressures and practicing suturing. Finally, during the summer Healthy Habit events, families get to try infused water or healthy snacks to help model healthier choices for at home.”
A key partnership that allows our community to grow and flourish.