News: Hennepin County Public Health seeks data and solutions

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Media contacts:

Lori Imsdahl, Public Health, 253-720-9030
Amy Leite-Bennett, Public Health, 612-348-7416

How healthy are we? Hennepin County Public Health seeks data and solutions


Between May and September 2018, 40,000 randomly selected Hennepin County households will receive the 2018 SHAPE survey in the mail. Residents who visit Hennepin County human service centers will also be invited to take the SHAPE survey in-person. (SHAPE stands for Survey of the Health of All the Population and the Environment). The short survey will ask residents anonymous, confidential questions about their health, diet, exercise, lifestyle and ability to get health care.

For 20 years, SHAPE has improved health 

Conducted every four years by Hennepin County Public Health and now in its 20th year, SHAPE provides the most comprehensive overview available of the unique health issues facing the county’s diverse population.

SHAPE data is then used by dozens of community organizations to develop and fund programs that improve community health.

“Collecting this information from thousands of households every four years is among the best ways for us to track our progress toward becoming a health community,” said Susan Palchick, Hennepin County Public Health director. “Anyone who receives the survey in the mail, or who is invited to take the survey at a human service center, is encouraged to take the time – about 15 minutes – to respond to the questions.”

SHAPE works in your community

In past years, SHAPE data has been used to guide health initiatives:

  • Identify populations disproportionately impacted by tobacco (e.g., people living in multi-unit housing) in order to shape tobacco cessation efforts and policies
  • Identify Hennepin County food deserts and expand people’s access to healthy food in these areas
  • Identify areas and populations within Hennepin County with high rates of chronic disease and obesity and increase opportunities for physical activity 

Learn more about SHAPE and review the results from previous surveys at

Learn more about data gathered from past surveys and get a copy of the questions.

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