Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

MDH logo

Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

View this as a webpage

Feb. 15, 2019

MDH website has changed

New MDH website

Update your bookmarks, links

A number of changes to the MDH website launched Feb. 14 to better serve our visitors.

  • 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 in materials. 
  • Searching is best. As you get used to the new organization and URLs, you may find doing a search for what you need will get you there fastest. 

Updated School E-cigarette Toolkit


Addressing student use of e-cigarettes

MDH recently updated its School E-cigarette Toolkit, which provides tools and resources for Minnesota school staff, including administrators, educators, teachers and health services staff, who are working to address the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products in schools. It outlines opportunities for action that can be taken by various school staff, along with resources and tools to help.

Get the toolkit.

SHIP Financial Guide FAQ

no tshirts allowed

SHIP Financial Guide FAQs

Q: Is clothing an allowable SHIP expense?

A: No. Clothing is not an allowable SHIP expense, even if it is within the $3 limit for incentives. See page 17 in the Financial Guide (PDF) for more information.


Podcast: 'The State We're In'

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota podcast

"The State We’re In" is a podcast that explores themes related to health, health equity and community. The podcast examines what it means to have fair and just opportunities to be healthy in our communities and shares stories related to root causes of preventable death and disease: commercial tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating.

For more information visit the website for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Winter Regional Meeting Evaluations

Please share your feedback with us

If you attended a regional meeting virtually, please share your feedback via survey.

If you attended the Saint Paul in-person regional meeting please share feedback on a different survey.

For those of you who were not able to attend, you are able to watch one of the virtual sessions on Basecamp. View the Detroit Lakes virtual regional meeting.


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.

Event: Twin Cities Metro Area Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Collaborative Meeting

Date: Feb. 26
Time: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

This free event is geared toward Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification Program participants and staff supporting TTS services. Light refreshments will be provided. Contact Ramsey county SHIP staff with questions.

Register with surveymonkey.


New Brighton Community Center, Room 224
400 10th Street NW
New Brighton, MN 55112

Webinar: Counter Tools - Store Mapper

Date: March 12
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Counter Tools is conducting a webinar on the Minnesota Store Mapper. The Minnesota Store Mapper is an interactive website that visualizes and reports on tobacco-related data such as retailer locations, retailer density and retailer proximity to schools along with enforcement records (e.g., FDA compliance checks) and collected store assessment results. During this webinar, the Store Mapper will be reviewed/demonstrated and you will learn how to use the Store Mapper to help support your efforts.

Register on Zoom.

This week's gem

no smoking signs

HEDA inspires food shelf changes

North Country Health Alliance and their partners at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf have already made changes as a result of their Health Equity Data Analysis (HEDA).

Interviewing food shelf clients as part of their HEDA in 2016 revealed a number of improvements that could be made at the food shelf. Clients said they sometimes walked through secondhand smoke to get into the food shelf, and that they had a difficult time finding information about health issues and social services.

Now, the food shelf has a different look for the 3,000 households they serve annually. No Smoking signs greet clients at all of the entrances, prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of entrances. They have also added a resource rack in the lobby has information on a range of topics that clients asked for, such as smoking cessation, job coaching and Meals on Wheels.

Photo: Julie Flathers (North Country Health Alliance), Pat McKone (American Lung Association) and Lynn Riggs (North Country Health Alliance) next to the new No Smoking signs installed at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf.