Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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March 7, 2019

Grant funding announcement

Nutrition and physical activity grant opportunities

MDH has received CDC State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (SPAN) grant funding. Two components of this SPAN grant are the Moving Health Equity Data to Action (MEDA) project and the Good Food Guidelines project. These projects will fund a subset of local public health agencies and their community partners to implement strategies to improve physical activity and nutrition among communities experiencing health inequities.

Watch for more information about the application and application process to be posted to the Healthy Eating and Community Engagement/Health Equity teams on Basecamp by the end of the week. Current SHIP grantees may apply for one or both of these opportunities.

Mini-grants for Every Kid Healthy Week

Host an event for Every Kid Healthy Week with grant funds

Action for Healthy Kids' seventh annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week is happening April 22-26. This special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts schools are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning. Visit the Every Kid Healthy Week website for more details on how to participate, including ideas, toolkits and resources.

Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids has up to ten $200 mini-grants available for schools interested in hosting an Every Kid Week event during the month of April. The simple online application is due Friday, March 15, at 3 p.m.

Apply for the Every Kid Healthy Week mini-grant.

Funding for local Safe Routes coordinators

MnDOT announces funding opportunity for staff position

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has a new grant opportunity to support walking and bicycling to school with funding to support Safe Routes to School (SRTS) staff for school districts or regions across Minnesota.

With more than 450 planning grants awarded to date, there is a demand for help to make walking and bicycling to school easier with implementation support from a designated Safe Routes to School coordinator. These funds ensure rapid implementation of existing plans and build community support for Safe Routes to School by funding a full or part time staff position for three consecutive school years.

Completed applications and supporting materials are due by April 26 at noon to

Learn more about this funding opportunity and access the application materials on the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.

Application Webinar

Join us for a webinar on March 18 at 11:00 a.m. to assist with your understanding of this solicitation and to address any questions you may have. Details on the webinar are available on the MnDOT SRTS Grants Page.

For more information about Minnesota Safe Routes to School, visit the Safe Routes to School website.

Tobacco Regional Meetings

SHIP Tobacco Regional Video Conference Calls

There is an impressive tobacco prevention movement occurring across the state. MDH plans 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 - Date: April 3, Time: 1:00 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

SHIP Financial Guide FAQ

SHIP Financial Guide questions answered

Q. What is the process for obtaining MDH prior approval for expenses?

A. To obtain MDH prior approval for expenses, local SHIP staff must submit an email to their community specialist with the following information:

  • Name of the item. If it is a communication piece, include a draft.
  • Strategy/strategies this item will support.
  • The requested review timeframe. MDH may not be able to accommodate all such requests depending on the timeline.
  • Brief description of the item and justification including an explanation of how it will support a PSE change (please limit to 1-3 paragraphs). If it is a communication piece ($3,000 or more), include a dissemination strategy, evaluation plan or plan to measure success plus and explanation of how it will support a PSE change.
  • Cost of the request. Please include an itemized breakdown of costs and quantity.
  • For out-of-state travel, please provide a breakdown of relevant costs: number of persons traveling, conference registration fees, transportation expenses, lodging and per diems.

Local SHIP staff can expect a response from their community specialist (CS) within three business days for all financial requests and should plan accordingly to allow for that response time. However, there may be cases when the CS contacts the local SHIP staff to indicate that more time is needed to address the request. See pages 8-11 in the Financial Guide (PDF) for more information and a list of items requiring MDH prior approval.

Evaluation reminder

Communication with evaluation liason

The evaluation team would like to remind you to please use the central email box to communicate with evaluation liaisons. Emails will be automatically routed to the appropriate evaluation liaison. The evaluation team works closely with community specialists, so please copy the appropriate community specialist on emails you send to your evaluation liaison.

For more information, including which evaluation liaison is assigned to you, please refer to the Evaluation Implementation Guide (PDF) on the MDH website.

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 are able to watch one of the virtual sessions on Basecamp. View the Detroit Lakes virtual regional meeting.


Webinar: Connecting data to action: tools for building cross-sector partnerships

Date: March 11
Time: Noon - 2:00 p.m.

More than 80 percent of U.S. residents live in urban areas. But until recently, few measures have been available for cities to assess health, the factors that shape it and the drivers of health equity. That's where the City Health Dashboard comes in. The dashboard provides city leaders, urban planners, policymakers, community organizations and other stakeholders with an array of regularly updated city and neighborhood-level data to support health and sustainability-related decision-making.  

Join the Smart Growth Network to learn about the importance of data-driven policy-making and program development and the impact of social, environmental and economic factors on health and sustainability challenges facing local communities.

Register for the webinar with Smart Growth online.

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. 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.

Webinar: Private insurance and tobacco cessation - an update

Date: March 22
Time: 1:00 p.m.

Join the American Lung Association to learn about the current landscape of private health insurance market and its coverage of tobacco cessation treatment. This webinar will explore some surprising changes in private health insurance and what private insurance companies are covering in terms of tobacco cessation coverage. Additionally, the webinar will feature Amanda Jansen, who will share her experiences in Minnesota working with self-insured employers on improving their cessation coverage. 

Register with the American Lung Association and email Ranjana Kodwani with questions.