Connecting Health and Hope
The Health Commons has recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary to celebrate the community brought together by
the needs for care and healing.
1992- Health Commons at Central Lutheran Church, originally called The Nursing Center, officially opens in October. Bev Nilsson, head of the Augsburg College nursing department and a parishioner at Central Lutheran Church, is the founder of the drop-in center. The original partnership if between Augsburg College Department of Nursing and Central Lutheran Church. The Fairview Foundation provided funding in partial support of the nursing center at this time.
1993- first Health Fair held and student participation at the Nursing Center dramatically increases
1994- The number of people utilizing the nursing center increases by 55%.
1995- Faculty and nursing students contribute over 600 volunteer hours to the nursing center!
1996- First logo of the Nursing Center designed
1997- Free Flu Shot clinics begin! Flu shots had been provided prior to this time for $10 per shot, which was financed by the nursing center fund.
1998- Other local colleges acknowledge the work of the nursing center and its profound impact on nursing students. This is where other organizations begin to explore ways of replicating our model of care.
1999- An increasing number of visitors at the nursing center are requesting foot care such as soaking and nail trimming.
2000- Over 2,055 visits were recorded with the nurse, which over 200 more visits then the prior year.
2001- First model of nursing practice was designed.
2002- 10 years of the nursing center is celebrated with sharing a community meal!
2003- The number of homeless individuals visiting the nursing center increases to over 56% of our visitors. This year also marks the beginning of keeping a rough estimate of how many socks we distribute daily.
2004– Faith in the City provides financial support to the Nursing Center.
2005- Sunday School children at Central Lutheran begin creating and donating hygiene kits
2006- Exchange students from Norway observe work being done at the nursing center.
2007- Founder of the nursing center wins the Spirit of Augsburg Award.
2008- The number of socks distributed this year reaches new highs at 3,500! The number of socks given yearly only has grown ever year since.
2009- Brainstorming of additional Health Commons location begins over coffee and the current nursing model of practice is created by DNP students at Augsburg College.
2010- Moved its location to the Restoration Center from down the hall in a different area of the church.
-Women’s group begins on Thursdays
2011- Health Commons at Dar Ul-Quba opens in September
2012- +50,000 pairs of socks were given to those in need (nurses did not start keeping track of socks until 2004)
2014- Health Commons expands its hours to match the clothing closet next door in Central Lutheran Church
2015- Participated in the Give to the Max day and raised $1,350
2018- Street Voices of change began inviting ACHC nurses to weekly meetings. In addition, oral histories have been started in order to record the history of the Commons
2020- Hosted the first Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) student
2021- The Health Commons has continued to stay open and has even had the first paid nurse intern over spring semester
The Health Commons, mainly at Central Lutheran Church, is continuing to grow after the impacts from the pandemic, the surrounding grief around George Floyd’s death, and the growth of people who are experiencing homelessness during the many economic changes throughout the 30 years. Augsburg University continues to strive for equity, service, and building community connections through these programs. We are excited to see what the future holds for the Health Commons and all of the ways that we can continue to help serve our community to foster growth, respect, and healing.