Baxter Supports NWHSU’s Community Health Clinics Program

Baxter International Inc. has awarded $16,000 to fund Northwestern Health Sciences University’s growing Community Health Clinics Program, which includes programming at the Integrative Clinic of Minnesota and Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Natural Care Clinic.

“We’re thrilled that Baxter has chosen to support Northwestern Health Sciences University’s efforts to provide high-quality healthcare for low-income, underserved populations in our local community,” says Deborah Bushway, Ph.D., President and CEO of NWHSU. “This gift will allow us to connect more individuals and families in need with services that will certainly improve their quality of life.”

NWHSU’s Community Health Clinics Program offers chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage to the Twin Cities’ most vulnerable communities, providing access to no-cost integrative healthcare services during approximately 4,000 patient visits each year.

More than 10 Years of Serving the Underserved

NWHSU has a long history of community service. The university began providing free healthcare services to underserved families and individuals through its partnership with Salvation Army. The organizations teamed up to establish the Salvation Army Harbor Light Clinic, which provides patients with care from student interns supervised by licensed faculty for chiropractic and acupuncture services.

In another collaboration with the University of Minnesota, NWHSU established the Pillsbury House Clinic, at which supervised NWHSU students provide chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage alongside medical students and health coaches from the University of Minnesota. In 2019, the clinic moved to a new location and rebranded as the Integrative Clinic of Minnesota. The new space shares the same location as the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic.

Over the years, NWHSU has replicated this service model in other organization’s clinics across the Twin Cities, such as the Aliveness Project, advancing health equity by treating low-income, high risk individuals.

“Similar to the food deserts in low-income neighborhoods, it’s difficult for people to find integrative medicine practitioners in low-income areas,” says Mike Tennison, Vice President of Network Development and Clinic Administration at NWHSU. “Even if individuals are aware of integrative therapies and they are available, there can be barriers that make it difficult to take advantage of them, like transportation to appointments or language issues.”

Improving Access to Treatments that Make a Difference

Thanks to the generous gift from Baxter, NWHSU can continue to offer complementary medicine services to patient populations that wouldn’t otherwise have access—services that are proven by research to change their lives for the better.

“The public health benefits of this program are profound, and address the increasingly urgent need for non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical therapies for pain management,” says Bushway. “Studies have proven that early intervention with either chiropractic care or acupuncture reduces the need for addictive opioid painkillers. We can have a huge impact in the community by providing safe, effective natural care for pain management.”