Accessing Community Wellness Through the People’s Center

Shevon Greene, contributor 

The People’s Center Clinics & Services, originally named Cedar Riverside People’s Center, was founded in 1970 by grassroots organizers within the neighborhood. The mission of the People’s Center is to “deliver affordable health care, inspire hope and promote community wellness.” 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Paula Guinn, chief advancement and external relations officer, about the services the People’s Center provides for Augsburg students and advice regarding health during this unprecedented time. 

“You obviously still want to take care of your physical health,” Guinn said. “It’s still important to move around and get some physical activity in, even during this time… You have to socially distance, you have to not gather, you have to wash your hands, you’ve got to wear a mask. All of this is so real and it can’t be stated enough.”

Guinn has been with the organization for a little over a year, coming from Kansas City, Missouri, and is developing the Chief Advancement and External Relations department. Guinn is in charge of finding revenue services in order to enhance care for patients, communications, and external relations, or managing relationships with various organizations within the community. With her past twenty years of experience working at nonprofits that focus on equity and social justice, she came to the People’s Center with knowledge and motivation to assist the Cedar Riverside community in various ways. 

COVID-19 has made this assistance all the more vital. Guinn said that, statistically speaking, younger people are spreading COVID-19 the most right now. “I want any college student to really take this to heart and take this pandemic seriously, along with taking care of themselves and their loved ones.”And when it comes to mental health, Guinn said, “Being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to understand that these are really tough times is important to remember.” 

This school year, Augsburg University and the People’s Center have partnered to offer all students comprehensive healthcare. Some examples of services include immunizations, sports physicals, annual exams, well woman exams, flu shots, dental exams, preventive and restorative services, and behavioral health. Those who do not have insurance are charged a $5 co-pay for the following services: office visits for acute or chronic medical concerns, one annual physical exam yearly, Tetanus immunization, Tuberculosis skin test and flu shots. Telehealth medical and behavioral appointments are also available from the comfort of your home. On top of that, drive-up COVID-19 tests are available on weekdays. Remember to bring your insurance card. If you are uninsured, COVID-19 tests are free.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, you can do so via their website (www.peoples-center.org) or a walk-in appointment. Please remember to fill out the New Patient Registration Form located conveniently on the website. When arriving at the clinic, please mention that you are an Augsburg student and show your student ID. 

People’s Center Medical Clinic is located at 425 20th Ave South, across from Trinity Lutheran Congregation, and People’s Center Dental Clinic is located at 3152 Minnehaha Ave South.