Search form

Ask an Advisor Answers

Hi - my name is Danelle Zapzalka and I live in Central Minnesota. I am taking a Community Health course as part of obtaining a bachelor of science degree. As part of my final project I need to complete a community assessment, plan, implement, and evaluate a project within a community designed to address the primary prevention of an identified health concern. My question to you... Is there a particular area within Central Minnesota that is of high need of assistance and change? My initial community ideas include veterans and women shelters. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you for your time.

           Thank you for writing to us.  Unfortunately, we are limited in our ability to help you, because we are based in Kansas rather than Minnesota, and also because our Ask an Advisor service is designed to respond to general questions about doing community work rather than to specific questions about particular geographic areas.
            Yet it’s clear you have an interesting and challenging assignment in front of you. So in your place we might first approach the state Department of Public Health in Minnesota, present your question, and ask for their advice. Your state DPH may well be divided into regions, such as Central Minnesota, and be able to make recommendations that match up with the assignment you’ve been given (and which may help them as well). Certainly worth a try.
            That said, we can mention a few Minnesota communities where we have some personal familiarity and that might also be of interest to you.
           One of them is the small town of Pelican Rapids, in many ways a traditionally conservative rural community, yet also one that combines  significant Mexican and Somali populations, and an apparently genuine interest in cultural diversity, but also with mixed feelings about assimilation. Given that it’s in the Western part of the state (near Fergus Falls), it may lie outside of your geographic area.  Moving Eastward, though, another lively small town of possible interest might be Battle Lake, where we have attended turtle races as well as a world-class country music concert. Further East still, Sauk Centre of course will always be of interest, given its literary history.
            We hope some of these thoughts may be helpful to you.  Thanks again for being in touch, and all best wishes for a successful and personally fulfilling project.

Question Date: Mon, 03/20/2023