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NWHSU Announces New Community Clinic Partnerships

NWHSU has a large clinic system dedicated to patient care. In addition to on-campus clinics, we have community clinics throughout the metro. Students provide free care to a diverse patient population under clinical faculty supervision. We added two new community clinic opportunities this spring, giving students exciting new opportunities to work across the Twin Cities. 

Integrative Clinic of Minnesota Reopens in the Oshun Center  

The newest partnership to emerge this spring is NWHSU’s collaboration with the Oshun Center. Formerly located in Mino-Bimaadiziwin, the Integrative Clinic of Minnesota (ICM) will re-open within Oshun. 

ICM will continue to offer upper-level Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Massage Therapy from NWHSU students. University of Minnesota first year medical students will also participate. This creates an exciting opportunity for all students the opportunity to work together providing integrative care. 

About the Oshun Center  

The Oshun Center is a community health clinic and cross-cultural education center. They offer Western, Eastern and Indigenous healing practices with an emphasis on health equity and accessibility for all bodies. They offer training in integrative bodywork and healing leadership practices for healthcare workers in social justice, advocacy, conflict mediation, as well as ethical and inclusive business models.  

The Oshun Center opened in July of 2022. Founder and director Ihotu Ali, MPH was inspired by research that cross-cultural relationship building could have more impactful and lasting effects than implicit bias trainings. After a year of experimental interracial conversations and healing justice trainings with community healers, birth workers, and physicians in 2021, she opened a physical space within Family Tree Clinic

Family Tree Clinic started out in 1979 as a student clinic started by nurses at Macalester College and over the past 50 years, has grown into a national model for offering comprehensive sexual health care and education, particularly to LGBTQ communities. In 2021, Family Tree Clinic moved from St. Paul into a brand-new state-of-the-art building in the Stevens Square and Loring Heights area of South Minneapolis,” shared Ihotu, who is a body worker, doula, and chiropractic student here at NWHSU.

“The building was designed with community input to be trauma-informed, including large windows for natural lighting, colorful murals, plants, open spaces, clearly marked exits, and furniture chosen mindfully for a variety of patients of different sizes, shapes, and mobility levels. The first floor also features an Integrative Health Wing. This is where Transcend Psychotherapy and the Oshun Center for Intercultural Healing are located.” 

Integrative Care at the Oshun Center

“The Oshun Center is home to 10 integrative health practitioners, or “cultural healers” who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color. They offer sessions for heart, womb, and soul healing adapted from global traditional healing techniques including massage therapy, acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, Traditional Thai and Chinese Medicine, energy work, sound healing, ceremony, birth doula and lactation support,” shared Ihotu. 

The Oshun Center strives to reimagine what U.S. health care would look like if it had developed equally over the last 100 years, offering allopathic biomedicine as well as techniques from folk medicine, midwives, homeopaths, chiropractors, Indigenous and Eastern healers, and enslaved African bonesetters and spiritual guides — in the spirit of re-uniting us all.” 

 Ihotu has spoken on the importance of culturally grounded care within whole person health, especially when addressing racial disparities among Black and Indigenous people who seek integrative pregnancy care along with chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy. You can read more about her in Minnesota Women’s Press. Or check out this blog post about her speech at the Whole Person Health Summit. 

New Community Clinic Opens at ZaRah Wellness Center

Northwestern Health Sciences University is partnering with the ZaRah Wellness Center. This provides a new opportunity for students to intern at and gain clinical experience. Chiropractic students started offering care under supervising clinicians Dr. Andrea Wilde and Dr. Nathan Wheat in the spring. Acupuncture students are joining them this summer. 

The ZaRah Center is the first Black-owned holistic wellness complex to open in Minnesota, owned and operated by Kenya McKnight-Ahad. The clinic was born from a demand for healing services and a platform needed for Black healers to connect and provide for the community. ZaRah is an Arabic word meaning “beauty.”  

Located at 1200 West Broadway in Minneapolis, the space is dedicated to community wellness and economic opportunity for Black women. The clinic is located in North Minneapolis. The goal is to keep health and wellness services, as well as wealth, in the neighborhood. 

Story by Kit Harlow, Chiropractic Student