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. 21, 2019

Budget for One Minnesota proposed

Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan budget plans

This week, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan proposed their Budget for One Minnesota. The budget focuses on issues critical to the health and well-being of Minnesotans – bringing down the cost of health care, improving education and ensuring communities across the state are prospering. 

The Walz-Flanagan budget proposes investments in our important work, including protecting Minnesota’s drinking water, protecting vulnerable adults, preventing opioid and other drug overdoses, updating laboratory equipment, improving healthy child development and funding the state’s tobacco quit line, among others.

The budget proposal also maintains the Health Care Access Fund, which funds SHIP. See the Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF) for more details.

In the coming months, MDH will continue to ensure that policymakers and other stakeholders understand the important work done by everyone to maintain and improve the health of the state.

AGRI Milk Cooler Grant Program

Grant opportunity with Department of Agriculture

The AGRI Milk Cooler Grant Program helps schools and early care and education (ECE) organizations buy milk coolers for use in their nutrition programs. This grant is intended to increase the purchase and consumption of Minnesota milk and dairy products.

Public or private schools and school districts that are part of the National School Lunch Program and serve food to preschool and/or K-12 students and ECE organizations that are enrolled in Child and Adult Care Food Program are encouraged to apply. The deadline for grant proposals is April 4.

For more information and grant eligibility information visit the Department of Agriculture webpage on this AGRI grant.

Safe Routes to School meet up

On May 20-21 join for a Safe Routes networking opportunity

The Safe Routes to School Meet up will take place on Tuesday, May 21, in Hutchinson from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. This day-long training will be highly interactive and allow you to build your skills in:

  • Safe Routes to School messaging
  • Community engagement and outreach
  • New and innovative SRTS programs
  • Evaluation and Minnesota specific SRTS tools

The day will focus on peer sharing and networking, and feature an opportunity for mobile workshops!

Come a day early to be trained as a Walk! Bike! Fun! Ambassador on Monday, May 20, in Hutchinson from 1-4:30 p.m. This training will help you learn how to support implementing the curriculum in your community. The training covers:

  • Walking school buses and bike trains
  • Bus stop and walks and remote drop offs
  • Bike rodeos
  • Biking and walking mapping

Participants will leave the training with the WBF Ambassador’s guide and kit.

Register for both trainings, which are free! 

Tobacco Regional Meetings

SHIP Tobacco Regional Video Conference Calls

There is an impressive tobacco prevention movement occurring across the state. MDH would like to convene regional video conference calls for local and state SHIP staff to share local and state policy progress, grant updates and helpful tobacco prevention resources. This time is dedicated to strategic TA and peer-to-peer discussion. Join us for coffee and conversation!

Regional map


To register:

Northwest Region - April 3, 1:00 p.m.

Northeast Region - April 4, 10:00 a.m.

Southwest Region - April 4, 1:00 p.m.

Central Region - April 10, 1:00 p.m.

Metro - April 11, 10:00 a.m.

Southeast Region - April 11, 1:00 p.m.

SHIP Financial Guide FAQ

SHIP Financial Guide questions answered

Q. On which expenses is a 25 percent cash match or contribution required from the partner site?

A. A 25 percent cash match or contribution is required toward the purchase of sit/stand workstations, heart rate monitors, and pedometers. Heart rate monitors and pedometers are only allowed in the school setting. All three items require pre-approval from your CS. Additional requirements for the approval of these items can be found on pages 9 and 10 of the Financial Guide (PDF).

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 St. Paul in-person regional meeting please share feedback on a different survey.

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


Webinar: FDA's tools to tackle the JUUL epidemic

Date: Feb. 26
Time: Noon - 12:30 p.m.

According to both the FDA Commissioner and the U.S. Surgeon General, youth nicotine addiction is now an epidemic, fueled by the soaring success of JUUL and similar e-cigarettes. This 30-minute Public Health Law Center webinar will focus on federal action, describing what FDA regulation of e-cigarettes currently looks like and highlighting steps the FDA could take to significantly change the trajectory of the e-cigarette epidemic.

Register with the Public Health Law Center.

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.

Webinar: Kick Butts Day prep - Kicking Butts online

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

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. The next Kick Butts Day is March 20, 2019. Each year during the Kick Butts Day season, the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids offers monthly webinars to provide updates and share tips from experts on how you can supercharge your Kick Butts Day events.

The next Kick Butt’s Day prep webinar will focus on media and how you can promote your events online. Register and learn more.

This week's gem

Mexican shaker salads

Service Food launches "Fresh on the Go"

Over the past three years, PartnerSHIP 4 Health dietitians have worked with 15 food service establishments to increase availability and accessibility to healthy foods by modifying existing or adding new menu items.

The Eat Well partners from ParnerSHIP 4  Health report that making healthy changes to their menu is important to them but lack the time and expertise to make it happen. One example of a success combining healthy food and convenience is with Service Food, a locally owned grocery store in Fergus Falls. The partnership with PartnerSHIP 4 Health has resulted in the creation of a new line of healthy grab and go, "Fresh on the Go", which was launched in February 2017 and has increased sales for the store ($30,000 in 2017 and $46,000 in 2018).

The line of foods includes leafy green salads with salad dressings made in-house, shaker salads, energy balls, yogurt parfaits and other seasonal items. These new grab-and-go food products can be a tool to improve community health, providing healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner that were not previously available. 

Kevin King, Vice President at Service Food said, “Service Food’s partnership with PS4H has been very well received by our employees and customers. It has given us the opportunity to bring healthy, homemade options to our customers for fresh meals and snacks. The ability to combine our employees' expertise with PS4H's expertise has been a very beneficial and greatly appreciated relationship."