Bridges Health Winona, the community’s new resource for health promotion and preventive health care services, is set to open Sept. 7.

Bridges Health Winona is a collaboration between Winona State University (WSU), Live Well Winona and Neighborhood Family Clinics (NFC). Community members can visit Bridges Health Winona Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. for free health support regardless of whether they have insurance. Bridges is located at 619 Huff Street inside NFC and Live Well Winona. WSU students and faculty from nursing, social work, exercise science and counseling education will provide health services in conjunction with providers of the Neighborhood Family Clinics.

Bridges promotes a preventive health care approach to achieve a healthy lifestyle, with the idea to help “bridge” the gap between individuals and health. Focus is placed on patient physical and emotional health. Types of care that can be received at Bridges are health screenings, lifestyle coaching, health promotion and primary care services, such as physicals. The service will also assist in connecting individuals to other community resources, including assistance in finding a permanent health care provider.

Additionally, Bridges is intended to enhance opportunities for health profession students to provide needed services to the community through interprofessional relationships. Health profession students need clinical experiences to achieve program outcomes and prepare them for today’s healthcare environment. A team of WSU faculty developed Bridges to serve as a new clinical environment to achieve this.

Jennifer Timm, a professor at WSU and a doctoral student, expects Bridges will help students become better prepared for work in community care settings, as the trend in health care shifts from hospital-based to community-based care. Timm also recognized that it can benefit the community.

“Expanding the opportunity for accessing health promotion and preventive services increases the likelihood that more individuals will engage in learning about their health,” Timm said. “Preventive health needs to be accessible for all.”

No insurance or appointment is needed to receive care at Bridges. While anyone interested in learning how to improve their health is welcome, Bridges Health Winona is particularly interested in serving those who are uninsured or underinsured. Care is administered on a walk-in basis, and all ages are welcome. Bridges Health Winona cannot care for urgent or emergency-related needs or specialized medicine, does not perform x-rays, diagnostic labs, or tests and does not prescribe controlled substances.

Each month, there will be a focus on a particular health issue associated with the month and the services provided at Bridges, such as a childhood obesity during September as part of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The focus on a specific health issue will raise awareness with patients about the issue, and present them with more information and steps they can take toward health.

Bridges Health Winona is a free health service run through a collaborative effort of Winona State University, Winona State University Foundation, Neighborhood Family Clinics and Live Well Winona. Bridges is open on Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. inside NFC and Live Well Winona on Huff Street, when WSU is in session. Care is provided by the licensed medical professionals at NFC and by WSU students and faculty from the nursing, social work, exercise science, and counseling education majors.

For more information, contact Jennifer Timm at jtimm@winona.edu or 507-457-5129.

The following two tabs change content below.

Brian Waldbillig

Brian is a Public Relations major and Communication Studies minor from Farmington, MN. His hobbies include photography, hiking and going to concerts.