June 2018 Vital Records News

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Vital Records News

June 2018

Office of Vital Records Receives National Award


...for Teamwork in Improving Death Registration

Minnesota’s Paper Cut Project received the 2018 Constellation Achievement Award from the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS). The award honors teams of professionals who embody great cooperation, teamwork, dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm in vital records, public health statistics and information systems. On June 7, at the NAPHSIS Annual Meeting, in Miami, Florida (picture above), Brenda Shinaul, OVR Records Management and Security Supervisor (right) and Krista Bauer OVR Deputy State Registrar (left), accepted the award on behalf of the team from Shawna Webster, NAPHSIS Executive Director (center).  

NAPHSIS recognized the Minnesota Paper Cut Project Team for its outstanding efforts and achievements in vital records. Over a two-year project to improve the timeliness, accuracy, and quality of electronic death registration, the Paper Cut Team demonstrated a willingness to change, take calculated risks, and think critically. They showed exceptional problem-solving ability and the capacity to envision the “big picture” in the vital record and public health statistics field. The team also displayed excellence in personnel management and development of statistical, customer services, and information systems.

Minnesota Paper Cut Project Summary

Funded by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research project, Paper Cut, helped Minnesota maximize use of its electronic vital records system, Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C). The Paper Cut team, together with funeral directors, medical examiners, coroners and medical certifiers (physicians, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants) improved the timeliness, completeness, and accuracy of death registration in Minnesota.

Only teams demonstrating significant contributions, innovation, creativity, or administrative capacity in the administration of vital records, or public health statistics, or statistical research on a jurisdictional level qualify for the Constellation Award.

The Paper Cut Project came along at the perfect time. Vital records staff worked together across unit silos and other artificial divides to apply their expertise, knowledge, and creative energy to focus on quality and process improvement. Death registration professionals, public health users of mortality data, and families across the entire state were ready to see a change for the better. The Office of Vital Records was ready to embrace, promote, and implement these changes. Paper Cut gave us the permission and drive to do that.

Team members include staff employed by the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Minnesota IT Services: Heidi Granlund, Cheri Denardo, Krista Bauer, Neeti Sethi, Gloria Haluptzok, Nancy Bollman, Kirsti Taipale, Sally Almond, Maria Schaff, Jeanett Garcia, Anna Borgstrom, Scott Fried, Ann Porwoll, Ping Li, Otto Hiller, Arifun Chowdhury, and Molly Crawford.

Minnesota State Registrar Elected Board President of National Vital Records Association

state registrar

Molly Crawford is president-elect of the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS). Installation was on June 6, 2018, at the NAPHSIS Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida.

Crawford ran on a platform that promised to:

  • Work to advance and assure the success of the national vital statistics system. 
  • Direct resources so vital records and statistics remain relevant, valuable, and necessary.
  • Respond to social and political change, to invest in technology, and to embrace our role in identity documentation without compromising our responsibility to inform public health.
  • Help NAPHSIS evolve and stretch to exceed expectations.

While continuing to lead Minnesota’s vital records system, Molly will serve two years as president-elect, two years as the Association’s President of the Board of Directors, and finally two years as past-president. Her election comes at a critical time of change. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics just named a new director and the vital records industry is searching for its place in meeting demands for data and information on a national scale while continuing to document, secure, and protect the identities of individuals. Information about NAPHSIS is online.

No vital records legislative changes for 2018

Legislation allowing the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Vital Records to share private and confidential birth data with tribal public health and tribal child support programs failed to pass into law. The bill, HF 3366 (Zerwas) and SF 3019 (Nelson) was included in the Omnibus Spending Bill, vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton.

Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225 presently prohibits tribal health professionals and tribal child support workers from accessing critical information about births in their communities and using that information to provide effective services to at-risk mothers and babies and support to families. In addition, tribal governments have no tangible interest to get legal birth certificates issued from public records as other local, state, and federal government programs do.

The Office of Vital Records will continue work to address this equity issue. Later this year, the Office of Vital Records will begin work to align Minnesota Rules, chapter 4601, Vital Records, with the Vital Records Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 144.211 to 144.227.

New way to register for OVR classes/trainings

The Office of Vital Records (OVR) is happy to announce a new way to register for OVR classes. The Minnesota Department of Health Learning Management System (MDH LMS) is your gateway to online courses, conferences, webinars and other resources designed for Office of Vital Records stakeholders. Use this tool to register for upcoming events, classes or training offered by OVR.

Create a user profile to access learning opportunities and create a transcript of your activity: 

  1. Go to the MDH LMS login page.
  2. Select the ‘Register Now’ button in the top right of the screen.
  3. Create a username and password. Enter your contact information on the page titled ‘Basic Information’.  A field with a red star is a required field.
  4. Click ‘Submit’ to log in.
  5. Save your username and password for future class registrations.

To register for a class:

  1. Scroll through the learning opportunities.
  2. Click ‘Select Event’ to see training session information.
  3. Click ‘Add to Cart’.
  4. Click ‘Proceed to Checkout’.
  5. Click ‘Purchase Now’. (Most OVR trainings are free.)
  6. The screen refreshes to show Shopping Confirmation. You will not receive email confirmation.

The following classes are available in MDH LMS.

Birth Registration 101:

  • July 24, 2018 in Rochester
  • October 16, 2018 in St. Paul

Five R’s of Death Registration: Rules, Requirements, and Resources for Recording and Registering Minnesota Deaths  

  • October 18, 2018 in St. Paul

OVR Help Desk Representative position posted

This position provides day-to-day operational support to the Office of Vital Records (OVR) and the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry (MFAR). The position is an integral part of the help desk team that serves as the first point of contact for key audiences including health professionals who are partners in the state vital records program, users of Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C), members of the public, and many others.

To learn more or apply, go to OVR Help Desk Representative position.

    Click on Health Program Representative - 24487 under Search Results.