Carver County SHIP | February Newsletter

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Carver County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

Same Great Work with a Great New Name


SHIP is now officially the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership. The new name better reflects the investment in local solutions for better health and the partnerships with community organizations and members. SHIP makes better health together.  

2017 is off to a great start!

What's new with Carver County SHIP? In 2017 we are focusing on establishing new partnerships with charter and private schools, worksites, and community organizations to advance healthy opportunities. We are also continuing to collaborate with current partners to enhance the progress that was made in 2015 and 2016.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming months!

Employee Wellness Initiatives Reach Over 3,500 Employees

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Carver County SHIP currently partners with seven worksites to improve employee health. Together, these seven employee health programs will reach over 3,500 employees at 48 sites throughout the county. Partners currently meet quarterly to receive training, network, and share ideas on how to advance employee wellness.

In 2016, SHIP supported worksite partners in creating or enhancing their organization’s employee health program. This included securing leadership support, developing a wellness committee, creating a wellness brand and vision, and completing an assessment to inform their action plan for the coming year. In 2017, each organization will work to further promote employee health and wellness through various activities. Four partners will be working on healthy eating and physical activity strategies, two partners will address breastfeeding support at their worksites, and one partner will address tobacco cessation. Activities include adding healthier snack choices to vending machines, creating spaces for nursing mothers, updating tobacco policy to include the use of electronic cigarettes, creating walking route maps for employee breaks, and more.

In addition to one-on-one support and the quarterly meetings, SHIP is developing new communication channels, including a worksite-specific monthly newsletter and website, to share information, successes, and best practices among partnering organizations.

Food Shelves Come Together To Promote Healthy Foods


Each quarter four food shelves— Bountiful Basket (Chaska), Friends for Life (Watertown), Southwest Carver County (Norwood Young America) and Waconia United— come together to share ideas on how to make it easier for clients to access healthier foods. Representatives from University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed, CAP Agency SNAP Outreach, The Food Group, Second Harvest Heartland, and Carver County Public Health also attend to provide support to the food shelves. SNAP is a program that helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. SNAP-Ed provides the hands-on learning opportunities for those on or eligible for SNAP, and SNAP Outreach helps to reach out to eligible low-income people not yet participating in SNAP. The Food Group and Second Harvest Heartland are both hunger relief organizations and food banks.

In 2016 clients at each food shelf completed a survey to provide feedback on healthier changes they would like to see at their site. The survey results helped guide what changes the food shelves could make to make it easier for clients to choose healthier foods. Some of the enhancements included rearranging shelves to display healthy foods more prominently, providing nutrition training for staff and volunteers, and purchasing refrigerators to hold fresh produce.

News and Upcoming Events

Smoking is Still a Problem in Minnesota

While the overall smoking rate in Minnesota has decreased over the last two decades, the cost of smoking remains high. In Minnesota, smoking was responsible for $3.19 billion in excess medical costs in 2014. Smoking claims the lives of more than 6,000 Minnesotans each year. At Carver County SHIP, we strive to increase access to tobacco cessation resources and to change social norms around the use of tobacco and electronic delivery devices. We are partnering with healthcare and mental health clinics, multiunit housing properties, childcare centers, and city and town festivals to implement tobacco free policies.

Source: Lorden and Ohsfeldt (2017). Smoking-attributable mortality and economic costs-Minnesota, 2014, Final Report.

Fare For All

Fare For All is program that provides fresh, quality food at a lower cost than a typical grocery store. Fare For All buys fresh produce and frozen meat in bulk from wholesalers and manufacturers to find the best deals available, and those savings are passed on to the consumer. Fare For All helps families stretch their food budget and access foods that tend to be more expensive. Volunteers pre-pack produce and meat into food packages that range in price from $10-$25.

Fare For All is open to everyone—the more people who participate the better. Fare For All will be at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church in Chaska from 4-6 p.m. on February 23, March 30, and April 27. Check it out this month!

Join the Worksite Giving Garden Movement!

Carver County worksites are invited to attend the upcoming Twin Cities Corporate Giving Garden Network Spring Garden Summit, hosted by Carver County Public Health. This Summit will highlight how Minnesota businesses have started giving gardens at their worksites, engaged their employees in the process, and shared their harvest with communities in need. Click here for more information on Giving Gardens. Contact Jean at with questions.

 Date: Tuesday, April 4

Time: Check-In and Networking begins at 9 a.m.; Presentation from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Join us 10:30–11 a.m. to hear how the SHIP grant can support your worksite in developing a garden.

Location: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Hosted by: Carver County Public Health

RSVP to: Susan Schuster at by March 30. Map and directions will be sent to RSVPs.

Cost: Free

Meeting attendees will have access to the Arboretum for the remainder of the day if you want to  linger a bit and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Want to Learn How to Garden?

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The Carver-Scott Extension Master Gardeners are offering a series of classes this spring. Classes will be held at the Library in Chanhassen, Chaska, Norwood Young America, and Waconia.  Find meeting dates and times here. Class descriptions can be found here.

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