Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log | 9-10-2015

Making it Better, Your Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

View on the Web

Making It Better - Minnesota Department of Health - Minnesota’s Health Improvement Log

September 10, 2015

Current and archived issues available at


To be added to the distribution list please email

In This Week's Issue


Don't forget!

  • Weds ~ Sept 16 ~ 10am ~ Roseville ~ SHIP School Coordinators Kick-off
  • Weds ~ Sept 16 ~ 2pm ~ Conference Call ~ POS/E-Cig Connect Call ~ 1-888-354-0094 Conference ID:  8132089 

Do you have a resource or success story (“gem”) to share for a future issue?  Submissions for each week’s Thursday publication are due by noon every Tuesday to or community specialists for:

Grantee Feedback Form

Do you have a suggestion or general feedback (good or bad) you would like to share with MDH? If so, you can now submit an online Grantee Feedback Form to OSHII. To access the form, click here.

Basecamp Tip

Get less email from Basecamp! Basecamp has added a new email summary option to help tame the notification beasts. Here’s how it works. Head over to your Me page and click the Your Basecamp Settings link. You’ll see a new section called “Email frequency.”

Turn on the option that says "Email me a summary every few hours at most." Now Basecamp will roll up all of your notifications and send you a single email every three hours or so. So instead of getting 10 separate emails for 10 new comments as they happen, you’ll get one email containing all 10 comments a little later. Click here for more information. 


Conference ~ Connecting to Transform Communities 2015 ~ Minneapolis, Nov 16 & 17

Registration is now open!

Early bird and group discounts available – Register by September 30 and save $20!

Full conference details and agenda can be found online at

After attending this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Showcase successful and diverse collaborations that improve population health for all.
  2. Explore nontraditional innovative approaches to mobilize and transform communities.
  3. Discuss strategies to create a sustainable culture of health: Shifting values; changing policy, systems and the environment; creating new narratives; and demonstrating impact.
  4. Strengthen attendees’ professional skills and networks to enhance their success in facing real-world challenges.

Join us in connecting to transform communities by improving health and wellbeing! If you have any questions, contact James at 651-214-2498 or email:

MDH Logo

In the News ~ Surgeon General Issues National Call to Action on Walking

Yesterday (Sept 9), U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a national call to action on walking.

“Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities” articulates the health benefits of walking while addressing the fact that many communities lack safe and convenient places for individuals to walk or wheelchair roll.

To read the Surgeon General’s Call to Action and learn how to promote walking and walkable communities, please visit A recording of the Surgeon General’s announcement will be posted there as well.

America Walks is sponsoring a webinar to help organizations use the call to action in their own work. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15. Register for the webinar here.


  • Susan Carlson, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Lead Scientific Writer for Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities
  • Wendy Landman, Executive Director, Walk Boston
  • David Sabgir, Founder & CEO, Walk with a Doc
MDH Logo

Webinar ~ Introducing New Online Resource Guides to Create and Support a Healthy School Environment ~ School Health ~ TODAY, 12pm

MDH Logo

Resources ~ Farm to School Month ~ October

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food!

Check out the multiple Farm to School Month opportunities here and decide what works best for you, your school partners and your community.

  • Sign up here to participate in the second annual Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch on Oct. 22 at noon. Sign up to receive a copy of the 2015 Crunch Guide to help you plan, carry out and share your celebratory crunch.    
  • Schools can join Minneapolis, St. Paul and other School Food FOCUS districts with a special Midwest Menu: serve a local chicken and apple, along with a veggie and whole grain of your choice on Oct. 22. Visit Midwest Menu Event for more details. Schools should sign up here.
  • The National Farm to School Network has resources for your school and community. Visit Farm to School Month to download and share posters, stickers, a communications toolkit and other content highlighting Farm to School work across the nation.

To learn more, go to Minnesota’s Farm to School Month website.

MDH Logo

Update ~ MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Monitoring Program

Updated on MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Monitoring Program

MnDOT has  updated the Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Counts webpage:

  • Volunteer tally sheets and training information is available
  • MNDOT has completed the count study and working now to institutionalize the program. Therefore they are no longer collecting manual count data.
  • Suggested National annual count dates set by the Documentation Project are found here:  

Join America Walks for an exclusive webinar on the recently released Surgeon General's call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities. We will receive a briefing from the Lead Scientific Writer on the Call to Action and hear how two leading organizations plan to take advantage of this exciting document. Learn how to use the Call to Action in your own organization! Register here. 

Resource ~ Healthy Powered Kids

Check it out: Health Powered Kids has a fresh site to help kids form better habits

Just in time for the new school year, there is an updated and re-launched  Health Powered Kids website! Complete with more ways for kids to live healthy and active lives.

Here’s a little more about the upgrades:

  • Free: As always, everything on the site is free of charge.
  • Pre-populated lesson plans: Features more pre-built lesson plans and in-class “Power Charger” activities to help kids develop positive physical and mental habits in a few minutes. 
  • Easier navigation: It offers a friendly, new design as well as enhanced navigation tools and search elements. And, the site is accessible on any device.  
  • No more log-in: We’ve eliminated the log-in which means one less password for you to remember. 

When you have a few minutes, head to the site and click around. It’s a great resource for you and the kids you know. 

Report ~ A People's History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation ~ TransitCenter

New report from TransitCenter  - the "how" of transportation change in cities nationwide. The main lesson? "The biggest catalyst for change is local people advocating for change."

Resource ~ Before & After Urban Design ~ Urb-I

Check out ideas for transforming streets and how it affects our lives in the cities. Share your project:

MDH Logo

Report ~ Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among High School Athletes ~ CDC

A Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week reports that during 2001-2013, current smokeless tobacco use increased significantly among high school athletes, but not among high school non-athletes. Furthermore, athletes reported higher use of smokeless tobacco, but lower use of combustible tobacco products, than non-athletes. 

Scholarships ~ 8th Annual National Summit on Smokeless & Spit Tobacco ~ Albuquerque, April 2016

Scholarships to cover partial or full registration fees are available to those working to eliminate the use of smokeless and spit tobacco. Application deadline September 30, 2015. 


No events


Save the Date ~ Regional Learning Meetings ~ October

Learning objectives:

  • Applying community engagement milestones to healthcare and workplace settings, using a health equity lens
  • Understand new SHIP 4 activities for the workplace, health care and tobacco cessation strategies
  • Applying new techniques to old strategies (how layering, dementia and fit into the SHIP framework)

October 6 | 9am-4pm | Detroit Lakes | Minnesota State – Detroit Lakes, Room C103, 900 Highway 34 East, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

October 13 | 9am-4pm | Duluth | Lake Superior College,, Main Campus, Room S1981, 2101 Trinity Road, Duluth, MN 55811

October 15 | 9am-4pm | Marshall | Southwest Health & Human Services, Third Floor, Rooms 4 & 5, 607 West Main Street, Marshall, MN 56258

October 20 | 9am-4pm | Roseville | Minnesota Department of Education, Room CC-14, 1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113

October 27 | 9am-4pm | Rochester | Southeast Service Cooperative, Wood Lake Meeting Center, 210 Wood Lake Drive SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Tribal SHIP Grantee AnnouncementsMDH Logo

Save the Date ~ Orientation/Training ~ Bemidji, Sept 15 & 16

Tribal Grantees - please plan to attend: An Orientation Gathering/Training September 15 & 16 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Bemidji, MN

Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible.  A block of rooms is being held under the name: MN Dept. of Health for Sept 14 and 15 at the rate of $119.00 + tax per night. Call 218-751-3600 to reserve your rooms.

Click here to register.

community wellness grant grantee announcements headingMDH Logo

October SHIP Regional Training Is Open to CWG Partners

Even if you are not working on SHIP, we want you to know that the SHIP October Regional Learning Meetings are open to you and will apply to your CWG work as well.  MDH staff will cover how to apply community engagement milestones to the health care and workplace settings, using a health equity lens and explore new techniques to use with familiar strategies. There is a training in your region--join us!

Northwest, Tuesday, October 6, 9 am – 4 pm, M State – Detroit Lakes, Room C103, 900 Highway 34 East, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Northeast, Tuesday, October 13, 9 am – 4 pm, Lake Superior College,, Main Campus, Room S1981, 2101 Trinity Road, Duluth, MN 55811

Southwest, Thursday, October 15, 9 am – 4 pm, Southwest Health & Human Services, Third Floor, Rooms 4 & 5, 607 West Main Street, Marshall, MN 56258

Metro, Tuesday, October 20, 9 am – 4 pm, Minnesota Department of Education, Room CC-14, 1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113


No announcements