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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Aug. 1, 2019

Supporting Breastfeeding Awareness Month

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‘Empower parents, enable breastfeeding’

August marks National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and World Breastfeeding Week takes place Aug. 1-7. This year’s theme focuses on “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.”

Breastfeeding is one of the best investments in saving lives and improving health. Family, employers, childcare, public health and health providers all play a critical role in supporting and enabling a person to breastfeed.

Local WIC agencies have received communications materials to help promote efforts that support breastfeeding. The Minnesota Department of Health is also planning social media during August to highlight Breastfeeding Awareness Month and to promote the Breastfeeding Friendly Recognition Program.

Help amplify those messages by sharing or liking them on Facebook and Twitter!

Use of e-cigarettes barred in most indoor workplaces, public places

New law took effect Aug. 1

Laws protecting Minnesotans from exposure to deadly secondhand smoke have expanded to include the use of e-cigarettes and vapes.

Under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, the use of e-cigarettes and vapes, often called vaping, will be subject to the same prohibitions and restrictions as cigarette smoking, protecting Minnesotans from exposure to e-cigarette use in all restaurants, bars and almost all indoor workplaces and public places. The change took effect Aug. 1.

Read the MDH news release.

MnDOT Statewide Pedestrian System Plan Survey

MnDOT web graphic

Provide your input today!

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) wants to hear from local communities on ways to improve walking in the state.

Please take the Statewide Pedestrian System Plan Survey and pass along to local partners. The survey is part of MnDOT’s efforts to learn more about Minnesotans’ support for pedestrian improvement and which improvements, strategies and policy ideas people support the most.

Additional resources, including a calendar of engagement events, are available on MnDOT’s Statewide Pedestrian System Plan web page.


Webinar: Collaborative Partners 2018: The Value of Collaboration in SHIP Implementation

Date: Aug. 22
Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Collaborative partnerships are defined as multi-organizational collaborations, coalitions, networks, partnerships or workgroups for shared learning, networking and/or systems coordination. Local SHIP staff participation has been an important element of SHIP implementation.

Last year marked the first year that local SHIP staff entered collaborative partnership data into REDCap. Analysis of 2018 data demonstrates the value of collaboration and confirms the need to continue encouraging and monitoring this important work.

Join the OSHII Evaluation Team to learn more about the analysis of the results of SHIP Collaborative Partners 2018­­ and provide suggestions to improve future data collection to better uncover the power of these partnerships.

Join the webinar at the WebEx training page.

This week's Gem

Benton group

Protecting Benton County youth from the harms of tobacco

The surge in communities working to protect youth from the harms of tobacco continued in July as Benton County passed a Tobacco 21 ordinance.

Benton County Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of Tobacco 21, making Benton County the 40th community in Minnesota and ninth county to raise the legal sale age from 18 to 21.

“Thank you to the Benton County Commissioners for their leadership in helping to reduce youth access to tobacco and to safeguard our youth,” said Nicole Ruhoff, Benton County public health supervisor. “We hope their example will inspire other cities and councils in the area to start having this discussion to protect youth.”

Benton County SHIP staff was an integral part of developing relationships with local partners who helped decide direction for the new ordinance. "Having all the right people at the table was key for us - law enforcement, licensor, attorney, health care system, schools," said Jenny Lezer, Benton County community health specialist.