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State DOH awards $614,000 in SHIP funds

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced on Nov. 4 it awarded $614,000 in Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funds for two years to the Morrison-Todd-Wadena Community Health Board and the Cass County Community Health Board. The funds will support community-wide efforts to improve health through increasing the availability of active living, healthy eating and tobacco-free environments. Cass, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties have created a public health partnership, Health4Life, in order to best support the SHIP efforts.

"Wadena County is pleased to be part of the continued efforts to improve the health of our citizens with continued SHIP funding. This new SHIP funding provides the opportunity to improve health for all and build on the many successful activities already in place," Cindy Pederson, Wadena County Public Health Director said.

Launched in 2008 as part of Minnesota's bipartisan health reform effort, SHIP works to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives while building healthy, vital communities. SHIP encourages healthy eating, active living, and avoiding commercial tobacco by working with schools, communities, workplaces, and healthcare to make healthy choices easier. The Morrison-Todd-Wadena Community Health Board has received SHIP funding since 2009.

"I am excited how engaged community members, schools, and healthcare have been in collaborating on these important issues," said Erica Keppers, Wadena County Public Health SHIP Coordinator.

Wadena County will be able to begin new initiatives focused on childcare and worksites, while continuing its existing community health improvement work, such as:

• Supporting active classrooms and increasing physical activity options for our youth.

• Working with our healthcare systems to provide community based referrals to assist patients who are at risk for diabetes and other chronic diseases.

• Increasing the accessibility and availability of healthy foods in schools and our communities.

For more information about SHIP, visit