The Statewide Health Improvement Program is working to improve health in…
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Saint Paul Public Schools
Twenty schools are receiving support from SHIP to improve nutrition and physical activity and will be led by wellness champions in each building. Three wellness coaches with expertise in the areas of physical education, nursing and health education are guiding the SHIP work. In addition, the district wellness policy is being updated and will be presented to the school board.
Roseville Area Schools
A variety of strategies will be implemented during the 2012-2013 school year, including:
- Implementation of a district-wide wellness committee, with a building wellness representative in each school to improve nutrition outside of the school lunch program
- Active recess, through training of recess staff in elementary schools
- Changing the physical education curriculum at the alternative learning center
Through a contract with the Association of Nonsmokers-MN (ANSR), SHIP is working with numerous post-secondary campuses to develop and implement tobacco-free and tobacco reduction policies.
Saint Paul – Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission
Saint Paul - Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission presented its report to the Saint Paul City Council in May and to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on June 5, 2012. The report was also given to the staff of Senator Al Franken when they requested input concerning the U.S. Food and Agriculture Bill. The Commission crafted and presented a statement to the Saint Paul Planning Commission on zoning for urban agriculture. The Commission is now working on implementation of the recommendations of the report.
2012 Report: Food System Recommendations (pdf) | Saint Paul - Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission
Ramsey County Healthy Meals Coalition
The Ramsey County Healthy Meals Coalition, a coalition of free meal programs in Ramsey County, is utilizing a baseline assessment report completed in October 2011 to inform its current work. SHIP is providing mini-grants to qualified member organizations to build capacity and serve healthier meals through new equipment, staff training and/or nutritional analysis software. The coalition is also continuing to develop an effective, feasible and replicable model for nutritious, cost-effective and culturally relevant meals. Tools developed by the coalition are below. Healthy Meals Coalition
Healthy Living in Saint Paul Public Housing
A variety of initiatives centered on healthy living are taking place in Saint Paul Public Housing Authority residences.
- Fields to Families, a weekly farmers’ market at the Hamline and Mt. Airy Hi-Rise buildings started in July. The markets bring easy access to healthy, low cost fresh produce for seniors and disabled adults. Sample: Fields to Families - Hamline flyer (pdf) |
Sample: Fields to Families - Mt. Airy flyer (pdf)
- Residents at Ravoux and Hamline Hi-Rises and the McDonough family site are installing and improving gardens. Training was provided for interested residents.
- New vending options are being stocked at Ravoux Hi-Rise, based on a taste test and resident vote.
- Active living initiatives include Nice Ride group rides with helmets and a one-year membership given to participants, a bike rodeo with stations for participants to learn about riding on streets, proper helmet fitting and bike safety. An Allina grant supports active living programs not covered by SHIP. Learn to Ride Nice flyer (pdf) | McDonough Bike Rodeo poster (pdf)
- A Freedom from Smoking Training at the American Lung Association was attended by 3 residents to learn how to lead smoking cessation groups.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) at the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market
Four Saint Paul Farmers’ Market locations throughout Ramsey County now accept EBT cards for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food support users. Locations include the Capitol Grounds, Aldrich Arena, Downtown St. Paul and West St. Paul markets. All four markets offer the Market Bucks program, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which gives each SNAP user an extra $5 to spend at the market on each day they use their EBT card and spend at least $5.
Flyer (pdf) – English | Spanish | Somali
Brochure (pdf) – English | Spanish | Somali
African American Health and Wellness
Available data in Ramsey County, the State of Minnesota, and our nation, indicates that African-Americans disproportionately experience chronic diseases associated with obesity (e.g. asthma, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke). In fact the African American community is the largest population group suffering from significant health disparities in Ramsey County. We believe that can change. How?
African American Churches
Cultural consultant Vanne Owens Hayes is working with selected predominately African American churches to help them establish goals and priorities for policy, environment, and system changes that will result in church members eating healthier, being physically active, and feeling better.
A one-to-one meeting is held with each church pastor who completes a brief questionnaire identifying the initiatives currently in place at the church, challenges to date, and goals not yet achieved.
The congregation then completes a short survey (anonymously) to indicate what their individual health practices are; what challenges or barriers they experience; what concerns they have; and what they would like to know more about so that they can live healthier lives.
The responses are tallied and the results shared with the congregation so that they can determine what areas they can focus on to improve their health. For example, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church surveyed church members; planned and presented a program based on survey responses; organized a health ministry team; recommended a healthy eating policy that was approved; and planned a training session for those responsible for meal service. Our goal is to have at least eight more churches do the same.
Ramsey County Public Health, through the SHIP grant, is also one of the sponsors of Baraza: An African American Women's Health and Wellness Gathering to be held Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Saint Paul College. The purpose of the event is to (1) increase the community's knowledge and awareness of health issues affecting African-American women and (2) have attendees commit to leading healthier lives.
In the News
Minnesota Food Banks Work to Break the Link Between Hunger and Obesity
Several Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health SHIP initiatives are making progress in breaking the link between hunger or limited resources for food access and obesity—Ramsey County Healthy Meals Coalition’s healthier meal service at shelters and feeding sites; making it possible for users of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards to shop at the farmers’ markets; and supporting gardens, healthier vending, and mini-farmers’ markets at public housing sites. MinnPost Article
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