Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Feb. 7, 2019

Update on Legislative District Fact Sheets

District fact sheets

Production process has begun

The OSHII Communications Team has started production of the Legislative District Fact Sheets.

These documents will be available for you and community partners to share with your legislators. The process to create the fact sheets includes incorporating partner site lists, a map highlighting partner sites and a SHIP success story.

The goal is to have fact sheets ready for review by local SHIP staff by Feb. 19, with a review turnaround of three days.

The goal for completion is March 4, with final products posted on Basecamp that day.

Contact your Community Specialist with questions.

Data brief on youth tobacco use

Rural teens start earlier, use more often, use smokeless

The tobacco use landscape in the United States and Minnesota is evolving. E-cigarettes are rapidly increasing in popularity, especially among youth. However, products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco continue to have a stronger hold in rural areas due to decades of targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, which integrated tobacco use into rural culture.

Tobacco products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm brain development as teens grow. Rural youth are at higher risk for harm, because they tend to begin using tobacco products at a younger age and use tobacco products more frequently.

This data brief dives deeper into rural youth tobacco use in Minnesota. View the full data brief.

New case study: Preventing Menthol tobacco use

Menthol tobacco prevention

Menthol tobacco prevention for African American communities

Menthol tobacco use is particularly common in the African American community. In 2015, the Minnesota Department of Health awarded a two-year grant to Hennepin County, Saint Paul-Ramsey, Bloomington-Edina-Richfield and Minneapolis Health Departments to better understand menthol tobacco use in the African American community.

A new case study on this work describes successes, challenges and lessons learned during the 2015 Menthol Cigarette Intervention Grant with a focus on the role of public health in the menthol policy adoption process.

View the full case study. 

SHIP 2021 Planning Timeline

SHIP 2021 planning timeline

Future planning for SHIP 2021

OSHII has begun sketching out a timeline that will provide for meaningful engagement with local SHIP staff over the coming year in preparation for SHIP 2021.

SHIP 2021 will begin Nov. 1, 2020.

OSHII will use regional meetings throughout the year as input and constructive analysis opportunities for local SHIP staff to provide expertise and direction to SHIP 2021 strategies and work plans. 

Contact Susan Michels with questions.

Implementing SHIP in small town settings

New tool for SHIP grantees

A set of tips on implementing SHIP in small town settings is now posted in the community engagement section of Basecamp. This was based on ideas generated from local SHIP and MDH staff. This document can be useful for planning when starting work in a new small town, to support orientation for new staff or as a prompt when work seems to stall.

As you use this document and see opportunities for improvement, please send comments to Jeannette Raymond. Please add additional materials to this folder if you have other helpful resources to support work in small town settings.

SHIP Financial Guide FAQ


SHIP Financial Guide FAQs

Q:  Is there a way to quickly and easily search the Financial Guide?

A:  Yes. Open the Financial Guide. Select Ctrl and F at the same time on your keyboard. In the Find box, type the word or phrase describing your search. Select Enter. Your cursor will immediately land on the first page where this word or phrase is found in the Financial Guide. Click the “Next” and “Previous” buttons in the Find box to cycle through the search result matches. Be sure to review all guidance provided on your search throughout the Financial Guide. 

An item may be allowable in one strategy, yet not allowable in a different strategy. Contact your Community Specialist if you have any questions.

If the word or phrase searched is not found in the Financial Guide you will receive a pop-up message indicating this.

Other advanced search features can be found by clicking on the dropdown arrow in the Find box.

Ctrl + F can be used in other platforms as well such as documents, internet pages, etc.

MDH website changes coming soon

New MDH website

Content reorganized to match user experience

To better serve visitors to the Minnesota Department of Health website, we’ve been working on some changes that are expected to launch on Feb. 14. At that time you may notice: 

  • We reorganized. Our content now appears in categories that better reflect the way users think of our work. 
  • URLs changed. Please update your bookmarks, as well as any links to MDH web pages you may have on your own websites. 
  • Searching is best. As you get used to the new organization and URLs, doing a search for what you need will get you there fastest.

OSHII Communications staff used the opportunity to tidy up and delete some old content, including fact sheets, success stories and other out-of-date materials. A new feature will list local SHIP staff on one page, making it easier for potential local partners to find contacts. Future plans for SHIP pages include an interactive success story feature.

We appreciate your patience during this transition.


Webinar: Tobacco Cessation Barriers 101 - The Impact on Quitting

Date: Feb. 12
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. While data show almost seven in 10 smokers want to quit, fewer than one in 10 quit successfully. Join the American Lung Association to discuss common barriers to tobacco cessation services in state Medicaid programs. The webinar will also discuss the impact each barrier has on helping people quit smoking.

Register on the American Lung Association website.

Webinar: America Walks Creating Safer Streets for All 

Date: Feb. 13
Time: 1:00 p.m.

Pedestrian safety is a critical part of planning for healthy, active and engaged communities. America Walks believes that a safe systems approach and built environment interventions are important to achieving fewer pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Attendees will learn about techniques and interventions to improve safety, including an overview of the safe systems approach, hear from communities taking steps to address safety concerns and be inspired to do the same and receive resources and ideas to begin addressing the safety in their own communities.

Register at the GoToWebinar information page.

Webinar: Kicking Butts through the Media

Date: Feb. 13
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. This webinar is in preparation for Kick Butts Day to help prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

Register with Tobacco-Free Kids.

Webinar: Don't Discount My Life - How Cheap Tobacco Only Benefits the Tobacco Industry

Date: Feb. 20
Time: 11:00 a.m. - Noon

Keeping tobacco prices high is the most effective way to help people quit and prevent young people from starting to use tobacco. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to reduce the price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco for consumers. We can and should stop the tobacco industry from targeting our communities with cheap tobacco.

Please join Kristen Ackert from the Association for Nonsmokers MN to hear about a new campaign launching this month called Don't Discount My Life and how you can get involved with this new local initiative.

Register at the MDH WebEx page.

This week's gem

Pathways 4 youth meals

Supporting Healthy Eating across Stearns County with SHIP

Due to the demand for services for homeless youth in St. Cloud, Pathways 4 Youth opened its doors in 2018. Pathways 4 Youth provides hot showers, hot meals, laundry facilities, clothing and food pantry items to youth ages 23 and under. They also provide support with finding housing, employment, education opportunities and affordable health and wellness.

Stearns County SHIP worked to expand the reach of healthy eating in the community by partnering with Pathways 4 Youth to grow their meal program. SHIP assisted the center with obtaining a new industrial refrigerator to have greater capacity to store donated food and extend the shelf life of produce.

As a result of the increased storage space, Pathways is able to serve healthier meals with more fruits and vegetables as well as a larger number of meals at one time.

Moving forward, SHIP is hoping to continue this partnership to provide support in expanding the food pantry and providing resources for teaching independent living skills such as preparing healthy meals.