Faribault, Martin & Watonwan counties
Helping Kids Build Healthy Habits
Madelia students learned how to build healthy habits for a lifetime, thanks to efforts by the Madelia Community Based Collaborative and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).
More SHIP stories:
- Downs Food Group No Chicken When it Comes to Wellness (PDF)
- Wider shoulders means safer biking for Wells (PDF)
- Safe Routes + Walking Tuesdays = Healthy Kids (PDF)
- Achieving nutritional strides at Martin County West Schools (PDF)
- Trimming Costs and Waistlines at Watonwan County (PDF)
- “I never knew there were so many different kinds of apples,” said Winfair Elementary student (PDF)
"SHIP has brought so much to our school and our community, everything from healthier foods at our school, places for people to walk and bike safely and professional development opportunities for our teachers and staff and as a result, we are seeing so much change in our students and staff!" - Sharon Hoyt, School Nurse, Blue Earth Area Schools
How Faribault, Martin and Watonwan counties are improving the health of their communities
Working with schools
- Healthy eating in schools: With Farm to School, SHIP connects farmers with schools to provide fresh, local foods. Efforts may include school gardens to educate children and to promote eating locally grown food For example, Riverside Elementary School is now serving fresh sweet corn on the cob and watermelon from local growers. In addition, SHIP is working with schools to offer healthy snacks and healthy food at celebrations and fundraisers.
- More physical activity: SHIP helps schools with Safe Routes to School programs, making it easier for kids to walk or bike to school. Plus, SHIP works to integrate more physical activity into their students’ day through Active Classrooms programs, active recess and physical education. For example, third graders at St. James Public Schools are participating in Jammin’ Minute. Jammin’ Minute provides students and teachers with five exercises to do right at their desk or in the classroom.
- Decreased exposure to second-hand smoke at colleges: SHIP teams up with colleges interested in a tobacco-free policy for staff and visitors on school grounds, in student housing and at school sponsored events.
- More access to healthy food: SHIP works to improve access to nutritious foods by increasing availability and affordability in grocery and corner stores, concession facilities and other food vendors, facilitate the development of new farmers markets and promote their use.
- More physical activity: Help create active communities by increasing opportunities for walking and bicycling. For example, SHIP worked with MnDOT to pave shoulders and rumble strips on State Highway109 outside of Wells. This new pavement makes it safer and easier for bicyclists and walkers to use this road.
- Less exposure to second-hand smoke at home: SHIP helps building owners who wish to develop smoke-free housing policies.
- Healthy food in child care: SHIP offers training and technical assistance to child care providers to improve nutrition and teach kids about healthy eating. For example, in 2012, forty-nine child care providers, from 11 centers and 15 in-home sites, have completed the Learning About Nutrition through Activities trainings.
- Active child care: More physical activity is now available in licensed child care and pre-school settings through programs such as I Am Moving, I Am Learning.
Comprehensive workplace wellness
- Working with businesses: SHIP works with employers to offer healthy foods in the cafeteria and in catering, to increase opportunities for walking and biking and access to worksite recreation facilities, and to support breast feeding for working mothers. SHIP also encourages tobacco-free policies, as well as health plan coverage of, and onsite support for, tobacco cessation efforts.
Prevention in health care
- Working with health care providers: With SHIP, more health care providers are screening and documenting Body Mass Index and tobacco use and exposure and then provide community resources to their patients to help make healthy living easier. For example, in 2012, Wellspring Faith in Action held two screening days in the town of St. James. They provided BMI, blood glucose, blood pressure and heart disease readings for free.
LeeAnn Huebsch LeeAnn.Huebsch@FMCHS.com
Community Leadership Team
- Ronda Allis, Minnesota Department of Transportation
- Karen Altenburg, Citizen’s Rep for Watonwan County Human Services Board
- Joe Burns, retired
- David Christianson, Watonwan County Human Services
- Roni Dauer, Fairmont Area Community Education and Recreation
- Candace Fenske, Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic
- DeeAnn Gieseke, Watonwan Families and Children Collaborative
- Gail Gilman-Waldner, Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging
- Jill Henry, HYVEE Fairmont
- Dar Holmseth, Blue Earth Area Community Education
- John Huisman, City of Blue Earth
- Lisa Hunwardsen, Mayo Health Systems Fairmont
- Andrea Konakowitz, Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic
- Laura Kramer, Martin County West Schools
- Kelly Kunkel, University of Minnesota Extension
- Katie Lohse, Watonwan County Human Services
- Tom Mahoney, Martin County commissioner
- Joe McCabe, City of St. James
- Kimberlee Nelson, Mayo Clinic Health Systems St. James
- Carmen Reckard, retired
- John Roper, Faribault County commissioner
- Chera Sevcik, Human Services of Faribault and Martin counties
- Stacy Van Gelderen, Minnesota State University; Fairmont resident
- Dave Wetzel, Region Nine Development Commission