Mayo Clinic works on immigrant health

Published 9:42 am Monday, January 30, 2012

By Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio News

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, researchers at the Mayo Clinic are working with more than a dozen community organizations to keep immigrants and refugees from developing common diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

The project, which includes nursing students at Winona State University in Rochester, focuses on southeast Minnesota, an area of the state that has seen some of the largest demographic shifts in the last decade.

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“This is a community dedicated to health and we have a lot of people who aren’t healthy living here,” said Julie Nigon, program manager at the Hawthorne School, a community and adult education center in Rochester.

The Hawthorne School is often the first stop for immigrants and refugees new to the city. They learn to speak English, take civics classes and meet other immigrants.

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