Reimagining The Experience of Health
What is WellConnect?
The WellConnect Partnership emerged in 2014 as the result of a community-engaged research project aimed at developing a scalable model for building communities’ capacity to deliver evidence-based health promotion programs at scale. This model, conceptualized as a “community system for well care,” has been recognized at multiple national meetings for its potential to improve population health and reduce costs.

The project also informed the development of a scalable and customizable technology to enable the model. This technology, Community Care Connections, allows for program search, referral, and registration, as well as participant and program data collection and report submission and for the monitoring of quality and impact.
The Partnership is an independent community entity guided by a steering committee of stakeholders from multiple sectors local to the region. The Partnership currently oversees and organizes the implementation of 14 Evidence-based health promotion programs by 23 Implementing Organizations in 11 Southeast Minnesota counties. This model is consistent with current trends in health policy in that it allows for local ownership and reinvestment of resources into high value health promotion.
Why WellConnect?
Medical care accounts for only 10% of overall health, while social and behavioral factors account for 70%. As healthcare reimbursement models adapt to improve outcomes and reduce costs, systems will need to be in place that can realize the value of community-based resources. Further, health promotion is beginning to work its way in to clinical practice guidelines,making community referrals a marker of quality care.

New Research!
"Integrating community-based health promotion programs and primary care: a mixed methods analysis of feasibility" highlights research conducted by Dr. Leppin and his team during the formation of the WellConnect Partnership.   
In a recent Social Network Analysis, evidence suggests WellConnect is succeeding in becoming a community hub (linking blue dots). Next phase is building linkages to healthcare (red dots). WellConnect is represented in the below diagram as INT2.

News From the Field
With Medical Director
Dr. Robert Bonacci
Why Utilize Clinic-Community Linkages?

As a practicing family physician, WellConnect offers a single point of contact to provide patients with low cost, community-based and evidence-based education that has the potential to improve their health. As a doc, I want to be able to do this as part of my office visit, I want to own their education, but I just do not have the time to provide a similar experience.  The programs utilize trained small group facilitators and patients participate in a program with the same group of people – building support, community, and sharing successes and challenges - which is a tremendous benefit. WellConnect offers a parallel system of care that will hopefully make my job a little easier as patients change behaviors in favor of healthier lifestyle choices. 

Preventing Diabetes: An Effort that Requires
Cross-Sector Partnership

I recently had the good fortune of attending a CME conference sponsored by the North Dakota Academy of Family Physicians. It was a great meeting with a number of presentations that were very practical and useful. One presentation was particularly interesting and a bit unexpected: National Diabetes Prevention Program in North Dakota – presented by North Dakota Public Health. Particular focus was given to Cass County, ND (Fargo area). They too have struggled with healthcare referrals for their Diabetes Prevention Programs and have developed a variety of tools to assist with referrals. With their success they are fortunate to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program beginning monthly. 

Here in SE MN, Charlene Gaw, a Mayo medical student, is working on a project with Employee and Community Health at Mayo Clinic to identify patients eligible for the DPP through the EMR and send them portal messages encouraging them to contact WellConnect. This project is showing early promise.

Explore Our Regional Search Feature by Clicking on the Map.   
We would be happy to come to your organization to provide more information about WellConnect and give a demonstration of the online features. Contact us at

507-251-3835 or