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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Aug. 7, 2019

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week

gov at market


Governor, Lt. Governor visit markets

Several events this week highlighted the collective efforts by statewide partners to support farmers markets across Minnesota, including through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.

Among the events, on Sunday, Aug. 4, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market Lyndale location. Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler, MDH Assistant Commissioner for Health Improvement, was among the MDH representatives at the Sunday event.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan visited the Four Sisters Farmers Market in Minneapolis. While at each location, both walked through the process of accessing SNAP benefits, visited with local producers and read the State of Minnesota Proclamation (PDF) that highlighted Aug. 4-10 as Minnesota Farmers Market Week.

ZIP code data, cultural identities highlight childhood obesity data

data portal image

Check out the MN Public Health Data Access portal

Nearly one-third of children ages two to five years of age who participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program are at an unhealthy weight (overweight or obese). 

The MN Public Health Data Access portal has updated these tools:

  • New charts show data on overweight and obesity among children according to new cultural identity categories for Asian and Black racial ethnic categories. 
  • New interactive map shows childhood obesity and overweight status by ZIP code for the entire state.

The MN Public Health Data Access portal provides a wealth of data on children's health issues, such as childhood blood lead, pesticide poisoning, developmental disabilities and immunizations.

Helpful tips for completing forms

FAQ for local SHIP staff

We’re providing answers to common questions that we get on completing forms. Check with your Community Specialist for more information.

Q. What happens if I submit an invoice that’s not signed?

A. Unfortunately, we’ll have to return it to you for a signature. MDH cannot process invoices unless they are approved and signed by an appointed authority from Local Public Health.

OSHII staffing update

Nutrition policy coordinator position now open

The nutrition policy coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Health (Job ID 34635) is now open for application through midnight on Aug. 15. This position provides leadership to plan and advance policy, systems and environmental strategies that facilitate increased access to healthy foods through nutrition and healthy eating strategies. Apply at Minnesota Careers.

Registration open for APA Minnesota Planning Conference


Conference set for Sept. 25 – 27

The APA Minnesota 2019 Planning Conference is set for Sept. 25-27 at Breezy Point Resort. Registration is now open.

Check out the conference sessions that have direct connections to SHIP work, such as

  • Using demonstration projects to advance Safe Routes to School infrastructure implementation
  • Complete Streets from the grassroots*
  • Transportation equity - what it means and how do we work toward it?
  • Engaging diverse communities, working together for walkability*

*These sessions include local SHIP staff as presenters.

Learn more about the APA Minnesota 2019 Planning Conference.


Webinar: Improving Health Equity through Rural Economic Development

Date: Aug. 13
Time: 2 p.m.

After decades of economic stagnation in Klamath County, Ore., the Healthy Klamath Coalition came together in 2012 to create a healthier community. Since then, the county has seen an increase in graduation rates and revitalization in parts of their urban center and has taken steps to create more jobs and stronger networks of interconnected social, behavioral and health care services.

Join the webinar as panelists discuss the connection between economic development and health equity with guests from Klamath County, a 2018 winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize.

Register at County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Webinar: School-Tobacco Strategy Announcement

Date: Aug. 13
Time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Schools are seeking the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership’s (SHIP) assistance to address the high rates of e-cigarette use among their students. From 2014 to 2017, self-reports from the Minnesota Student Survey found a 49% increase in the number of high school students that used or tried e-cigarettes or vapes in the past 30 days. With the rapid rise in popularity of e-cigarettes by young people, schools are facing a crisis. SHIP is in a position to help.

Local SHIP staff may now select an optional Schools-Tobacco strategy for grant year 2019-2020. Approved activities include working on model policy and implementing or enhancing tobacco prevention curriculum. Join the webinar for a chance to review the proposed guidance and to ask MDH content staff questions about the changes.

Register at the WebEx registration page.

Webinar: Minnesota Store Mapper 101

Date: Aug. 14
Time: 2 p.m.

During this webinar, learn about the Minnesota Store Mapper, how it works and how to use it! The Store Mapper is an interactive website that visualizes and reports on tobacco-related data (e.g., retailer locations, retailer density and proximity, enforcement records and store assessment results

Register at Counter Tools.

Webinar: Creating Infographics and Fact Sheets – Tools, Resources and the Design Process

Date: Aug. 15
Time: 2 p.m.

During the webinar, the presenter will provide an overview of the process for developing fact sheets and infographics, including best practices, and thinking through the design process, audience and goals. As part of the webinar, the presenter will provide examples of infographics/factsheets and a brief demonstration of developing an infographic in PowerPoint. The presenter will also share tips, tools and resources. 

Register at the Evaluators’ Network.

Webinar: Kick Off the School Year with Healthy Living & Learning Resources for Educators, Families and Kids! 

Date: Aug. 28
Time: 1 p.m.

With the summer winding down and the school year getting ready to kick off, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Nemours Children’s Health System are teaming up to bring this interactive webinar to prepare for a healthy school year. Nemours has created a suite of no cost healthy living and learning resources tailored to educators, families and kids. This presentation will provide tips and resources for schools and out of school time programs to jump-start the new school year by supporting healthy nutrition and physical activity opportunities. 

Register at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.