Member newsletter - August 2021

hennepin health member newsletter


August 2021


In this issue:

Get ready for back to school

Give your kids a healthy start to the school year with visits to the doctor and dentist.

At a Child & Teen Checkup, the doctor or nurse will check height, weight, vision and hearing. They will also check your child’s growth and development.

Now is a good time to make sure your child’s vaccinations are up to date. Many diseases are preventable with a vaccination. To enroll in child care, early childhood programs and school, children are required to have certain vaccinations. The Minnesota Department of Health has a handy chart to show when your child or adolescent should get a vaccine.

Dental care is important for overall health and wellbeing. Daily brushing and flossing help prevent cavities and gum disease. Dental health affects your ability to talk, drink, breathe and digest food, and your smile.

What you can do

Schedule an appointment. If you don’t currently have a medical clinic or dentist, you can find one online in the member provider directory.

Earn rewards. Members can earn a $25 gift card for Child & Teen Checkups and annual dental visits by a network dentist. Read more about the rewards program online.

Learn more. Use the Hennepin Health Healthwise® Knowledgebase online tool ( to watch videos and read helpful information.

Reward vouchers now available in Somali and Spanish

Hennepin Health reward vouchers are now available to members in Somali and Spanish.

Members can earn rewards for staying up to date on their health care checkups, screenings and shots. The vouchers are filled out and submitted to Hennepin Health for gift cards.

Find out more about the program at


Help stop the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. You can help stop the spread by getting vaccinated. Everyone 12 years and older can get the vaccine. Members under age 18 need a parent or legal guardian with them to get a vaccine.

There is no cost to you to get the vaccine. There are three vaccines available: Pfizer (two shots), Moderna (two shots), and Johnson & Johnson (one shot). Children between the ages of 12 and 17 should get the Pfizer vaccine.

Our network providers are giving COVID vaccines. Go to your clinic website to schedule an appointment and for more information.

To find a public clinic or pharmacy location closest to you for a vaccine, go to these websites:

If you need transportation, interpreter services or have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, call Member Services at 612-596-1036 (TTY 1-800-627-3529).

More ways to stop the spread of COVID

  • Wear a mask, especially in public indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Maintain social distance.
  • Stay home when you feel sick.
take care of each other group

Enrollee Advisory Committee update

The Enrollee Advisory Committee (EAC), who are Hennepin Health members, met on July 15. Members discussed the following topics:

  • COVID-19 updates from Dr. Mark Manley, Hennepin Health Chief Medical Officer
  • Ways to promote getting a flu shot
  • Quality Management Program initiatives
  • Hennepin County Future Ready, the county workforce with Shawn Sorrell, Hennepin County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Committee members talked about why people are not getting the COVID vaccine and how we can encourage vaccination. Members discussed their experiences getting county services since the pandemic began. Many are finding online options to be the most convenient. Members are looking forward to the Hennepin Health Walk-In Service Center reopening.

The EAC gives feedback on overall health care issues, new programs and changes in procedures. Group feedback reflects the priorities and interests of members.

If you have questions about the EAC, contact Member Services at 612-596-1036.

Energy Assistance Program

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households.

Grants are based on energy cost, household size and income. The grants can help:

  • Renters or homeowners
  • Households with income at or below 60% of the state median income

Apply online at

EAP is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prepare for annual health plan selection period

Your annual health plan selection period is coming soon. Here are two things you can do to make sure your health plan selection is smooth and easy.

  • If your address has changed since last October, let your county worker know so all records are current.
  • Prenatal care can help you have a healthy baby. Women who are pregnant receive additional health care benefits to help have a healthy pregnancy. If you are now pregnant, let your county worker know.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. During COVID, many families fell behind on immunizations. During NIAM, protect your family against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination.

Read the CDC’s Growing Up with Vaccines interactive guide for information on vaccines recommended during pregnancy, throughout childhood, and into adulthood.

immunization month

August is National Breastfeeding Month

Breastfeeding helps moms and babies stay healthy. To bring attention to the benefits of breastfeeding, and to support and encourage mothers in achieving their breastfeeding goals, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recognizes August as National Breastfeeding Month.

Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed or pump milk to feed their babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months of life.

Hennepin County WIC is hosting a series of conversations around breastfeeding on Facebook Live every Monday in August. Upcoming topic:

  • August 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m. - Facebook Live: Supportive breastfeeding for black mothers Black mothers breastfeed and thrive in a community that promotes self-care and supports mom’s returning to work.
breastfeeding webinars

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, dedicated to preventing eye injuries and vision loss. Healthy vision contributes to a child’s school readiness, and ability to learn and perform. Vision screening and eye care are essential for a healthy child.

One of 20 children ages 3 to 5 has a vision problem that could become permanent if left untreated. Yet 80% of preschoolers do not receive an eye screening. A good rule of thumb is to have your children’s eyes examined during well-child visits beginning at age three. Your child’s eye doctor can help detect nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and other diseases.

Some warning signs that your child may be experiencing vision problems:

  • Wandering or crossed eyes
  • Holding a book close or sitting close to the TV
  • Frequent eye rubbing while concentrating
  • Squinting or turning the head to see the class board or when watching television
  • Sensitivity to light, sometimes with headache or nausea
  • Closing one eye to read or watch TV

Learn more

kids eye exam

NAMIWalks Minnesota

NAMI Minnesota hosts their annual walk to advocate for those with mental health challenges and their families. Walk together or at your own location.

Walk together:

Saturday, September 25
Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis

11 a.m. – resource fair
1 p.m. – 5k walk kickoff

Visit NAMI Minnesota to register and for more information.

NAMI walks

September is Pain Awareness Month

The American Chronic Pain Association declares September as Pain Awareness Month to bring attention to the issues of living with chronic pain. Fifty million Americans endure chronic pain every day. There is no easy fix for chronic pain but there is a wide range of therapies and strategies that can reduce its severity and impact on your life.

Pain is the number one reason Americans access the health care system. The nation spends up to $635 billion each year on chronic pain through medical treatments, disability payments and lost productivity.

pain month

Chronic pain is defined as pain is present most days or every day for six months or more. Chronic pain takes many forms:

  • Mild to severe
  • Intermittent to continuous
  • Annoying to disabling

Because each person is unique, their pain treatment should be too. You can create a personal pain plan at

Additional resources:

American Chronic Pain Association
U.S. Pain Foundation

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

National Cholesterol Education Month is a good time to check your cholesterol level and take steps to lower it. High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It can increase your risk for heart disease or stroke.

Cholesterol is necessary to help your body function properly. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”). When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can slowly build up and narrow your arteries which decreases or blocks the flow of blood.

You can lower high cholesterol:

  • Check your cholesterol levels to know your numbers.
  • Change your diet and lifestyle to help improve your levels.
  • Control your cholesterol with help from your doctor if needed.

Resources to help

cholesterol blob

September is National Prostate Health Month

During his lifetime, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. There typically aren’t early warning signs for prostate cancer. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and don’t cause health problems.

Screening may find prostate cancer early and help prevent its spread if not treated. Two screening tests commonly used are:

  • A blood test called prostate specific antigen (PSA) – This test measures the level of PSA in your blood.
  • Digital rectal examination – A rectal exam to feel the prostate for anything abnormal.
prostate month

Some prostate health resources

DHS approved 8/20/2021 ID# HC-1203-MC

Language and civil rights notices

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