Carver County SHIP | December Newsletter

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Carver County Public Health Newsletter

Carver County Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP)

It has been a busy year! During this past SHIP cycle, which was from Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, Carver County SHIP worked with 83 different partners to help make the healthy choice the easy choice. SHIP partnered with schools, health care and mental health organizations, child care centers, home-based child care providers, food shelves, residential communities, worksites, and more.  Carver County SHIP will continue these partnerships in 2017 and look to work with additional organizations to increase access to healthy foods and active living opportunities and to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Working Together for Better Health

402 Multi-Unit Housing Units Benefit From Smoke-Free Policies

smoke-free housing

Thanks to Carver County SHIP and Live Smoke Free, there are now more smoke-free housing opportunities for Carver County residents.

Over the past year, Carver County SHIP and Live Smoke Free, a nonprofit program that specializes in promoting smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing buildings, educated and provided assistance to rental property owners in the county about smoke-free housing policies. The partnership between Carver County SHIP and Live Smoke Free, which began in 2014, aims to protect Carver County residents from secondhand smoke exposure by helping property owners make their buildings smoke free. When a building goes smoke free, residents benefit from clean indoor air and property owners benefit from cost savings and reduced fire risk.

Since November 2015, nine multi-unit properties received assistance with implementing a smoke-free policy. Properties ranged from townhomes and duplexes to 100+ unit complexes. Live Smoke Free provided training, tools, and materials, including free signage, to help properties implement smoke-free policies.

The work completed this past year due to SHIP protects approximately 1,005 Carver County residents living in 402 housing units from secondhand smoke exposure. A total of 16 properties have passed smoke free policies since the partnership began in 2014, protecting an estimated 2,093 Carver County residents from the dangers of second hand smoke. Carver County SHIP and Live Smoke Free will continue to work together in 2017 to ensure additional residents in Carver County can benefit from smoke free multi-unit housing policies.

Lifecore Biomedical Engages Employees to Create New Wellness Brand

Thrive- Lifecore Biomedical Wellness Brand

Lifecore Biomedical partnered with SHIP to enhance their workplace culture to provide a healthier environment for all employees. Worksite wellness initiatives encourage positive lifestyle behaviors, such as physical activity and healthy eating, and have significant potential to influence health and increase productivity.

In 2016 Lifecore Biomedical created a unique visual brand for their wellness initiative to increase employee awareness of related activities, drive engagement in the activities, and in turn, positively impact employee health. The company’s safety and wellness committee organized a contest, which allowed all employees the opportunity to create a logo and brand. The contest winner was announced at an all-company lunch to showcase their upcoming wellness programs and activities. The winning logo, Thrive (Teaching Healthy Routines in eVery Employee), highlights Lifecore Biomedical’s commitment to providing a healthy workplace environment.

Breastfeeding Support in the Child Care and Educational Setting

East Creek Family Center supports breastfeeding

East Creek Child Care and New Beginnings are programs of SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288. Both programs operate within the East Creek Family Center building in Chaska. New Beginnings is an alternative high school program, helping pregnant and parenting students complete graduation. East Creek Child Care is a small, nationally accredited, four-star Parent Aware awarded child care center and parenting lab. The child care center serves about 50 percent high school student parents and 50 percent parents from the general public.

The teachers and the child care staff members are very supportive in helping the young mothers with choices about feeding their infants. Despite knowing the health benefits of breastfeeding, many of the families have complicated situations: PTSD, sexual violence experiences, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness, making the choice to exclusively breastfeed a difficult choice.  Mothers who choose breastfeeding have the freedom to feed their infant in the classroom (with teacher permission), in the child care center, or in a lactation area.  During the 2015-2016 school year, East Creek Child Care had eight students and two staff members who regularly breastfed their children on site.

Through the partnership with Carver County Public Health and the SHIP program, East Creek Family Center was able to create three more private lactation areas, add appropriate signage for the designated areas, provide safe storage and handling of expressed breast milk, and offer educational material to interested mothers.  In addition, child care staff attended training to increase their awareness and knowledge of accommodating breastfeeding in the child care setting.

For many parenting students in the New Beginnings program, breastfeeding ends before they return to school from maternity leave, or shortly after. The supportive atmosphere at school and child care helped these eight students breastfeed their infants for six months to one year, and beyond.

East Creek Child Care Center is continuing to support the infant feeding choices mothers make, including the support needed to make breastfeeding successful. This year they will be working towards applying for the Minnesota Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Center Recognition.

News and Upcoming Events

Have you seen the Carver County Public Health video? Click here to watch the three-minute video highlighting the wide range of programs and efforts designed to promote and protect the health and well-being of all Carver County residents.


The holiday season is upon us! Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods, being active, and avoiding tobacco. Click here for more tips from the CDC on how to stay healthy over the holidays.

Spread the word!

Ridgeview Clinics, a SHIP partner, is offering a six-week group tobacco cessation program starting January 12. See the flyer below for more details.

Quit Tobacco for Life

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