SHIP Success

Minnesota sees significant drop in obesity rate

February 8th, 2017

State’s adult obesity rate remains lowest in the region

The state’s adult obesity rate saw a statistically significant drop between 2014 and 2015, from 27.6 percent in 2014 to 26.1 percent in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Minnesota was the only state in the region, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa, to succeed in keeping its obesity rates firmly below 30 percent. According to data released early September by CDC, neighboring states’ rates ranged from 30.7 to 32.1 percent.

CDC released 2015 state- and territory-specific data on adult obesity prevalence using self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). All states had more than one in five adults (20 percent) with obesity.

“Minnesota’s obesity rate is markedly lower than our surrounding states and we were still able to achieve a greater decrease in 2015 than our neighboring states,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “Achieving healthy weight for all Minnesotans is one of the key objectives for our Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and its community and private sector partners. By working together we’ve been able to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for all Minnesotans in every corner of the state.”

Obesity rates can have a major impact on health care costs for related chronic diseases like diabetes. In 2008, Minnesota policymakers responded to skyrocketing health care costs driven in part by rising obesity rates, by enacting SHIP, as part of Minnesota’s bipartisan health care reform legislation. Since that time, Minnesota’s obesity rate held steady until it ticked up from 2013 to 2014 (from 25.5 percent to 27.6 percent). These latest CDC findings confirm that Minnesota has returned to its historically low obesity rate that remains steady on a year-to-year basis even as other states and the U.S. as a whole continues on an upward trend.

According to combined data from the CDC, the adult obesity rate for African Americans in Minnesota was 29.9 percent, which is lower than the national figure of 38.1 percent.

According to Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Behavior Survey results, in 2014, the obesity rates for adults ages 18 and older were:  37.2% Meeker,  30.5% McLeod and 35.4% Sibley. While it is great news that overall the state obesity rate has decreased there is still a significant amount of work to be done locally.   Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services (MMS CHS) is working with many partners, such as local schools, farmers markets and worksites to name a few, on projects to improve healthy eating and physical activity options across the three counties. The goal of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier, better lives by preventing risk factors that lead to chronic disease. MMS CHS and the Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Healthy Communities Collaborative have been working for the past 6 1/2 years to help create good health where residents, live, work, learn and play. They are working together on making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice! You can find out about the work they do together at http://www.mmshealthycommunities.org/

Additional results of the 2014 Community Behavior Health Survey can be found at http://www.mmshealthycommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/MMS-Community-Health-Survey-Results-Public-Version.pdf

Many factors play a role in obesity, making it a complex health issue to address. Across Minnesota, communities are working together through SHIP to expand healthy eating and active living opportunities along with tobacco prevention with multiple strategies, across multiple setting and sectors. SHIP spends $17.5 million per year supporting grant funding to local community partners that is in all 87 counties and 10 tribal nations. SHIP grants support locally controlled community health boards, which have linked with more than 2,570 active partner sites. These efforts support and leverage the work of a variety of partners such as community groups, schools, employers, farmers, chambers of commerce, hospitals and health care facilities, city planners, county boards, tribal officials and more.

For more information on the health of Meeker, McLeod, and Sibley Counties and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) work that is occurring contact Mary Bachman, Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services SHIP Coordinator at 507-237-4000

Smoke-free public housing cuts secondhand smoke exposure by nearly half

July 21st, 2016

reasons for quitting smoking graph

Smoke-free policies have the potential to provide healthier environments at multifamily, public housing while also motivating residents to smoke less or quit smoking, according to a new study by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives (OSHII).

The eight public housing properties in this study implemented smoke-free policy changes after working with local public health agencies through the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).

After the smoke-free policies were implemented, the MDH study found a 46 percent drop in frequent indoor secondhand smoke exposure among non-smokers. In addition, 77 percent of smokers reported reducing the amount that they smoke and 5 percent reported that they had quit. Smokers noted the policy change was as much of a factor in their reduced smoking as wanting to improve their health.

According to Allie Freidrichs, Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services Director, “a significant benefit to this work is that the people that are most vulnerable – elderly, children, and people with asthma and other respiratory diseases, are protected from exposure to toxic chemicals contained in secondhand smoke.”

SHIP grantees are working across Minnesota to help implement smoke-free policies at public housing and privately owned properties in their communities to ensure greater access to quality, smoke-free housing.  For Meeker-McLeod-Sibley SHIP, we have worked with over 50 properties locally on smoke free housing since SHIP began in 2009.

Smoke in housing developments can easily pass from one unit to another through walls, doors and shared ventilation systems. In the MDH study, the percentage of residents reporting exposure to secondhand smoke a few times per month decreased from 44 percent to 23.6 percent after the properties went smoke free.

The work by SHIP grantees and their partners puts the state in a strong position to prepare for proposed changes by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that would prohibit the use of cigarettes, cigars or pipes in all public housing living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices, and possibly outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. The final rule is expected in the fall of 2016.

HUD estimates that annual cost savings nationally from eliminating smoking in public housing would be $153 million; the bulk of the savings would come from reduced health care costs related to secondhand smoke. In Minnesota, smoking causes more than $2.5 billion in medical costs annually.

For a second component of this evaluation, MDH interviewed local public health staff and property managers and owners of affordable housing properties who have implemented smoke-free housing policies.

Non smokers shs exposure

Factors that led to greater implementation and enforcement success included educating staff and residents on the adverse health effects of second and third-hand smoke (residual nicotine and other toxins left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke), receiving assistance from experts such as local public health staff and technical assistance providers, emphasizing the economic benefits of going smoke free and practicing consistent enforcement policies.

Get more information about the MDH evaluation study here.

To learn more about local work on smoke-free multifamily housing, contact Jean Johnson at (320) 864-1376 or Allie Freidrichs at (507) 766-3531.

Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Healthy Communities is making a difference!

June 25th, 2014

The Healthy Communities Collaborative has been working for the past 4 1/2 years to help create good health where residents, live, work, learn and play.

Through SHIP funding, we are working on making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice! See the You Tube Video below.

Below are report summaries divided out by sectors – Worksites, Schools, Community, and Health Care. We are proud of our partners and our staff assigned to work on these initiatives though Statewide Health Improvement Program funding through the Minnesota Department of Health.

The work we are doing through SHIP improves health and saves money by building stronger communities. Our local communities chose SHIP strategies that are best for them. The result? Real, community-led improvements in healthy eating, physical activity and reduced commercial tobacco use.

MMS Progress Report Summary 2013

Communities 2013 Report

Health Care 2013 Report

Schools 2013 Report

Work Sites 2013 Report

 

SHIP Success: Wellness Conference

January 22nd, 2014

On May 1, 2013, Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services hosted a free Worksite Wellness Conference in Hutchinson for any worksites interested in learning more about worksite wellness and how to create wellness opportunities for their employees. In addition to several large-group speakers, participants also had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions throughout the day based on their interests for their worksite. Over 100 people were in attendance for this event which was made possible because of the SHIP grant.

 

 

SHIP Success: St. Paul’s School

January 12th, 2014

St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Arlington actively participated in healthy eating and Safe Routes to School during SHIP 2. They planted apple trees and a school garden to be used for their school cafeteria. They also taught the children bicycle and pedestrian safety at school, participated in walking and biking opportunities, and updated their school wellness policies to make these changes sustainable. Other Sibley County schools that participated in Farm to School include GFW, Sibley East, MNCS, St. Peter’s – Gibbon and Immanuel – Gaylord.

st paul