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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Oct. 17, 2019

Two more deaths confirmed due to severe lung injuries associated with vaping

MDH reported first vaping-related death on Sept. 6

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Oct. 16 confirmed that two more Minnesotans have died due to complications from severe lung injuries associated with vaping.

MDH reported Minnesota’s first vaping-related death Sept. 6. The two latest deaths involved people over the age of 50. Both died in September following complicated hospitalizations. The patients developed difficulty breathing, which prompted their hospitalizations. Investigators determined the first patient vaped a number of products including illegal THC. The second patient had severe underlying conditions and is believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.

Read the full news release.

Safe Routes to School funding opportunities annouced

Safe Routes logo

Apply today to support your local efforts

Non-infrastructure funding

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Boost grants are the answer to your non-infrastructure needs! Through these grant awards, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will support communities with existing Safe Routes to School plans, or other comprehensive SRTS approaches, in advancing non-infrastructure strategies for schools that support making it safe, easy and fun for students to walk and bicycle to school.

SRTS Boost grant awards are intended to begin work in April 2020, completing work by June 2021. The application and guide for the SRTS Boost grant and more information can be found on the MnDOT SRTS grants webpage.

Planning assistance funding

SRTS plans have been used to engage community stakeholders to successfully identify barriers and opportunities for youth to walk and bicycle to school and to leverage significant investments in infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions. MnDOT’s planning assistance grants provide planning expertise and plan development support to schools. Planning is completed by the local regional development organization, metropolitan planning organization or the statewide SRTS planning consultant team. MnDOT will contract directly with the planning organizations and consultant.

Infrastructure funding for greater Minnesota

Minnesota communities, schools and their partners are invited to apply for funding on local projects that enhance transportation goals.

The Transportation Alternatives Solicitation is a competitive grant opportunity for local communities and regional agencies in greater Minnesota to fund projects for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, Safe Routes to School and more. Minnesota will be soliciting projects for approximately $6.2 million in available grant funding across the state where the total is sub-targeted to the seven area transportation partnerships. Greater Minnesota applicants must submit a letter of intent by Oct. 31 describing the key components of their project. A regional representative will contact applicants to help review the project proposal and the steps necessary for delivering a federally funded project prior to local communities and regional agencies submitting a full grant application.

For grant details, see the Transportation Alternatives website.

Fall tribal gathering

tribal gathering photos

Local tribal partners met on Oct. 10 to celebrate efforts taking place across Minnesota through MDH's Tribal Statewide Health Improvement Partnership and Tribal Tobacco. The event, which took place at the Prairie Island Indian Community, included a poster session for tribal staff and an unveiling of a banner with an artistic representation of the culturally driven strategies that are advancing health in tribal nations.

Helpful tips for completing forms

FAQ for local SHIP staff

Q. When updating my budget, do I need to complete the “Date Updated” field on Budget Summary tab?

A. Yes, please update this date each time you create or update your budget.

Current bi-monthly call format continues

Stay tuned for updates on the future format

Local SHIP staff should submit their bi-monthly call form to their Community Specialist in November and December, depending on their current call rotation.

The same form, process and call schedule (see below) in place since this summer will continue to be used. If you have questions or concerns, contact your Community Specialist. Stay tuned for updates on the future format.

call schedule

Share your SHIP communications products

Post your examples on Basecamp

OSHII staff often get asked for samples of communications products (including signs, posters and fliers, etc.) developed by local SHIP staff. Please think about sharing two or three examples of some of the SHIP communications work of which you’re most proud.

We’ve created a folder (SHIP communications products) in the Communications/Media section on Basecamp for an easy spot to store them.

Registration still open for fall regional meetings

Update: Crookston meeting canceled

This fall’s regional meeting series are focusing on health care and healthy eating partnerships. Local SHIP staff have been instrumental in securing sites, planning the agenda and recommending presenters.

After consultation with local SHIP staff, the Crookston meeting was canceled due to low registration. Those signed up for the Crookston location will be contacted. 

Find out more about the meetings at the registration page!

Local SHIP staff gathering planned on Nov. 5

Join us in Duluth!

Are you are going to be in Duluth for the Food Justice Summit? If so, please join us for a SHIP staff gathering from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Zeitgeist Arts Café (222 Superior Street, Duluth). RSVP at the event registration page

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Webinar: What’s New in Tobacco Worksite Policy

Date: Oct. 23
Time: 1 p.m.

Do you know how to guide workplaces on their policies and practices about vaping? This webinar will provide the latest and best information on tobacco use policy and systems changes in the workplace. The American Lung Association and Public Health Law Center will review updated Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act and highlight where gaps exist that should be covered by workplaces to ensure full protection.

Register at the Public Health Law Center.