Published on June 07, 2021

Essentia Health Community Engagement Committee supports childcare center

Kevin Gish, a Community Engagement Committee member presents Prairie Pines Childcare Center Board Chair Greg Mireault a check for $5,000.

Essentia Health proactively invests community dollars to support local projects, programs and initiatives that improve health. Essentia’s Fosston-area Community Engagement Committee recently presented a donation of $5,000 to Prairie Pines Childcare Center to help assist with the costs of establishing the center.

Access to child care was one of two priority areas identified for implementation through the 2020-2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in Fosston. A child care study showed a shortage of over 100 child care slots needed in the area to support residents which has also impacted Essentia Health as lack of child care access has been a barrier to hiring and retaining employees. The Community Engagement Committee, made up of local employees, has the responsibility to allocate community contributions based on local priorities and needs.

The donation was presented to Prairie Pines Childcare Center to support their mission of delivering remarkable care for the children entrusted to the center as well as their vision to be a place where children thrive and where physical, emotional and developmental needs of each child are met. Research studies have demonstrated that youth enrolled in quality early child care programs have improved health behaviors, lifelong health outcomes and experience lasting educational, economic and even intergenerational benefits.

Health-improvement investments such as this gift make a measurable difference in the health of our communities.

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