Hennepin Health Newsletter: February 2014


February 2014



Ross Owen
Deputy Director

Julie Bluhm
Clinical Program Manager

Lori Imsdahl
Operations Coordinator


Hennepin Health, an innovative healthcare delivery program, is a collaboration between Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center (NorthPoint), Metropolitan Health Plan (MHP), and Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD) of Hennepin County


For more information about Hennepin Health visit www.hennepin.us/ healthcare

Clinic Spotlight: NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center


NorthPoint is located at 1313 Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis.

NorthPoint is a federally qualified health center and one of Hennepin Health’s four partners. Created in 1967 and formerly known as Pilot City, it was one of 13 original neighborhood service programs (NSPs) started across the country as part of President Johnson’s war on poverty. NSPs were designed to be multi-purpose service centers, places where low-income and disenfranchised people could receive health and human services.

Now in its 47th year, NorthPoint has a rich history of serving the North Minneapolis community, reducing healthcare disparities, and providing integrative services.


Lucera Morales (left) and Stephanie Valek provide patients with top-notch dental care.

A few staff at NorthPoint reflect upon what makes their clinic unique:

  • A one-stop-shop. NorthPoint offers a myriad of services —dental, laboratory, pharmacy, optometry, radiology, nutrition, housing, finance, medical, and behavioral health (to name a few). There’s even a food shelf and a computer lab in the facility. One staff noted that a person who visits NorthPoint encounters an “army of help.”
  • Cultural diversity. NorthPoint strives to be a place where diverse people feel comfortable. The staff come from diverse backgrounds themselves. Interpreter services are available on site.
  • Serves high-need patients. NorthPoint has a history of serving complex patients. Staff strive to interface with these patients in creative ways — at the clinic, over the phone, and out in the neighborhoods.
  • Well-respected in the community. NorthPoint has been a fixture in the North Minneapolis community for almost 50 years. People come to NorthPoint not only for their healthcare, but to gather and socialize. Kimry Johnsrud, NorthPoint chief operating officer, notes that many of the patients are friends and relatives of the employees.

The NorthPoint food shelf stocks emergency food packages, monthly food supplies, baby food, diapers, fresh produce, and miscellaneous non-food items.


The NorthPoint computer lab.

Read more about NorthPoint at: www.northpointhealth.org

Care Coordinator Spotlight: Melissa Schebloom, Katherine McCoy, and Hugo Trejos


NorthPoint has a wealth of dedicated care coordinators. From left to right: Hugo Trejos, Julie Knudsen, Melissa Schebloom, and Katherine McCoy.

Staff at NorthPoint talk about what drew them to the profession and to Hennepin Health:

Melissa Schebloom, LICSW

Melissa has been interested in humanitarian work since she can remember. Growing up, she volunteered at a domestic violence shelter and food shelf. By age 16, she’d committed to a career in social work. “For me,” she says, “it was a calling.”

After receiving an undergraduate degree in psychology and Spanish, Melissa began her career as an interpreter at NorthPoint. The NorthPoint community, she recalls, “nursed me.” Several social workers saw her potential and encouraged her to advance her education. When Melissa applied to the University of Minnesota master’s in social work program, they wrote her letters of recommendation. While in the master’s program, Melissa completed an internship at NorthPoint.

Now a licensed independent clinical social worker and in her sixth year at NorthPoint, Melissa has seen people improve under Hennepin Health. She recalls a Hennepin Health member she worked with recently. The member had no phone, memory loss from a traumatic brain injury, and was unstably housed. Since Melissa started working with the individual, the member has been stably housed and is currently receiving therapy.


Hugo Trejos and Melissa Schebloom discuss financial aid options for their patients with Denetta B. (center), NorthPoint financial aid case manager.

Katherine McCoy, medical assistant

Katherine has been employed at NorthPoint for one year. Prior to NorthPoint she worked at a homeless shelter. Katherine is interested in the connection between health and housing. One of the things that excites her most about her job is helping homeless and unstably housed patients find housing.

Like Melissa, Katherine has seen people get better under Hennepin Health. A few months ago, Katherine was assigned a Hennepin Health member with chemical dependency issues. Since they started working together, the member has been sober for two months. Katherine has developed a bond with the member and the member calls Katherine on the phone almost every day to check in.

Julie Knudsen, RN, NorthPoint health care home and care coordination supervisor, says that the bond that Katherine developed with her client is not unique. According to Julie, patients often “ask” for their care coordinator as soon as they call or visit the clinic. Some patients have even brought their friends and family to the clinic to meet their care coordinator!

Hugo Trejos, medical assistant

Hugo started working as a medical assistant at NorthPoint in January 2014. Prior to that, he worked at NorthPoint, Inc., the human services arm of NorthPoint.

Hugo recalls that, growing up, he often found himself in a counselor role. Due to his Mexican background and ability to speak Spanish, Hugo was frequently approached by immigrants in his neighborhood who had questions or needed help.

For Hugo, the work he does at NorthPoint is meaningful and “more than a paycheck.”  

Member Spotlight: Irvin


Irvin has struggled with chemical dependency. When he was referred to Hennepin Health’s supported vocational services program with Rise, Inc., in 2013, Irvin had been unemployed for four years.

When he was unemployed in 2009, Irvin sent out dozens of applications but his chemical dependency issues kept getting in the way, making it difficult for him to find jobs and perform well at interviews and in the workplace. He became hopeless and gave up, vowing to make money in “other ways.” A stint in jail followed.

After jail, Irvin was living at RS EDEN — a sober supportive housing facility in Minneapolis — when he had the revelation that “doing the same things I had always done would get me the same things I had always gotten.” Inspired to carve out a better future, he began brainstorming actions he could take to move his life in a different direction. Obtaining employment figured high on the list. 

Although Irvin was eager to work, he recognized that his chemical dependency and criminal background were challenges to employment and was unsure of where to start.

Around that time, Irvin received a letter from Hennepin Health about its supported vocational services program with Rise, Inc. Irvin contacted Pat Meacham, a Rise employment consultant, and the two began working together.


Irvin consults with Pat Meacham.

Over the next month, Pat and Irvin met regularly at Pat’s office in the Shapiro building at Hennepin County Medical Center. They put together Irvin’s resume and searched for jobs on the Internet. When Irvin got an interview at Burger King, Pat helped him prepare. After the interview, the hiring manager offered Irvin a job, citing Irvin’s engagement and preparation for the interview as key reasons.

Although he is now employed, Irvin continues to receive support through the program. Examples include information on stable housing, bus passes to get to work, and clothing appropriate for outdoor working. Most recently, Pat helped Irvin find a bank in his neighborhood. Irvin subsequently set up a savings account.

Irvin is “grateful to have a network,” “someone who is concerned with how I’m living.” He recently helped hang up informational flyers about the program and encouraged Hennepin Health members he knows who qualify to contact Rise, Inc.

Irvin states that the program works but stresses that success is not possible unless a Hennepin Health member takes personal initiative. Pat echoes this sentiment, noting that Irvin is driven, hasn’t missed a single meeting at the Shapiro building, and is an exemplary employee at work.

Looking forward, Irvin hopes to find stable housing and increase the number of hours he works. Irvin says that he is thankful not only for the vocational support he’s received through Hennepin Health, but also for the dental and medical appointments he’s received as a member.

Read more about Rise, Inc., at: www.rise.org

Project Spotlight: Vocational Services

Hennepin Health members have two options to receive help in obtaining employment. They can access assistance from the vocational counselors who are part of the Intensive Case Management Team (ICMT) of Hennepin County or they can use the supported vocational services program of Rise, Inc.

The services are wide-ranging and include:

  • Help with resume writing, interview preparation, job search techniques, volunteer work
  • Help in finding, obtaining, and retaining a suitable job
  • Information about the impact of earned income on an individual’s cash and medical benefits
  • Intervening with employers to help with return to a previous job or retention of a current job
  • Information about educational options such as Adult Basic Education, GED classes, and college/technical college programs

The counselors of both programs are also available for brief phone consultations concerning employment-related issues.


Members of the Hennepin County ICMT. From left to right: Lisa Koch, Tom Davis, and Jodi Smith.

Target Population

Hennepin County ICMT

Adults with serious mental illness and/or chemical dependency who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Three or more hospitalizations in a 12-month period, OR
  • Three or more encounters with Acute Psychiatric Services and/or COPE, OR
  • Complex medical conditions and co-occurring disorders including MI/CD and otherwise referred by a Hennepin Health partner, OR
  • Currently inpatient and at risk for extended hospitalization and commitment, OR
  • Using out-of-network hospital or ED services for psychiatric needs, OR
  • Restricted MA status

Supported vocational services program with Rise, Inc.

Adults who, within the last year, meet one of the following criteria:

  • A behavioral health (CD/MI) hospitalization
  • Participation in CD programming/treatment
  • Treatment completion


Hennepin County ICMT:

Supported vocational services program with Rise, Inc.:

Committee and Subcommittee Structure

Hennepin Health leadership is derived from its committee and subcommittee structure. Committees and subcommittees are task-based and meet every two to six weeks. They include:

Collaborative Committee

Finance Committee

  • Budget Subcommittee

Analytics Committee

  • Report Analyst Subcommittee

Care Model Committee

  • Care Coordination Subcommittee
  • Behavioral Health Subcommittee

Operations Committee


A patient receives medical care at Healthcare for the Homeless.

Stephanie Abel, Healthcare for the Homeless clinical manager, has been a member of Hennepin Health’s care model committee since 2012. Stephanie says that the care model committee has been invaluable — not only as an educational forum but because of the people she’s met. Here are some of the results of these connections:

  • Stephanie met Bruce Thompson from the HCMC pharmacy. Bruce provided Stephanie a pharmacy resident who helped revamp the Healthcare for the Homeless formulary and performed medication therapy management on people at the shelters who were recently discharged from the hospital.
  • Stephanie met Dr. Mark Linzer, HCMC director of the division of internal medicine. Dr. Linzer introduced Stephanie to Dr. Danielle Robertshaw. Dr. Robertshaw is now the medical director at Healthcare for the Homeless.
  • Stephanie met Kimry Johnsrud, NorthPoint chief operating officer. The two decided to have one of NorthPoint’s MNsure outreach workers visit the shelters and help enroll people in MNsure.  
  • Stephanie met Kristen Godfrey-Walters, HCMC community care coordinator supervisor. The two decided to station one of Kristen’s community health workers (who is being hired from a 2014 Hennepin Health reinvestment initiative) at Healthcare for the Homeless.
  • Stephanie met Dr. Paul Johnson, who works at the HCMC coordinated care center. Stephanie started to refer high utilizers of the shelters to the coordinated care center.

Change in Transportation Policy


Hennepin Health is changing its monthly bus pass protocol.

Currently, Hennepin Health requires a member to have 12 medical appointments per month to qualify for a monthly bus pass with Metro Transit. Beginning on March 1, 2014, members will only need to have four medical appointments per month to qualify for a monthly bus pass.

Hennepin Health believes that this change will:

  • Align Hennepin Health with competing health plans
  • Reduce administrative burden
  • Increase patient satisfaction and quality of life

Lori Imsdahl, Hennepin Health operations coordinator, will ensure that Hennepin Health providers are aware of the change. Qualifying members will be issued monthly bus passes at Metropolitan Health Plan.

What Would You Like To Learn?

What would you like to learn about Hennepin Health? Do you have suggestions on members, providers, projects, or programs that we should spotlight? Contact Lori Imsdahl, Hennepin Health operations coordinator, at lori.imsdahl@hennepin.us or 612-543-0055 with your thoughts.