DIG E-Case

Olmsted County Community Services

County governments in Minnesota are uniquely positioned to address the changing community contexts. Olmsted County’s experience with inequality and response have been dynamic with actions in learning, strategy, and implementation.

By the late 1990s, Olmsted County realized the issues in shifting demographics and wealth gaps, along with its own need for institutional change to meet the needs of its community. Community Services' leaders stepped up and led, stepping into situations where the problem and solutions were unclear. Leaders such as John Edmonds, a knowledgeable and skilled outside talent initially hired to design new interventions for family services and analyze system barriers; Jodi Wentland, an innovative manager with experience in other counties; and Paul Fleissner, a Director committed to making a better system were instrumental in pioneering institutional change efforts.  Over time, Olmsted County has sustained a dedicated commitment and mental dexterity to push institutional change and create a more equitable system that addresses the needs of its changing community.

This timeline discusses major events and pivotal shifts in Olmsted County as it worked to understand the shifting needs of its community and make necessary adjustments.

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  1. History of institutional change at Olmsted County