The Statewide Health Improvement Program
SHIP uses science-based strategies that are both effective and long-term.
Meeting local needs
We know that what works in Minneapolis may not work in Rock County or the Leech Lake Reservation. Local communities choose SHIP strategies that are best for them. The result? Real, community-led improvements in healthy eating, physical activity, and reducing commercial tobacco use.
- Farm to School. By improving the offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables, Farm to School programs will help make the healthy choice the easy choice for students and school staff. Kids eat more fresh, local foods and learn about where their food comes from, all while supporting local farmers. By connecting farms and schools, children, schools and farmers all benefit.
- Safe Routes to School. Safe Routes to School helps more kids walk and bicycle to school more often—through infrastructure improvements, education and promotional activities. Walking and bicycling to school helps families stay active and healthy and kids arrive to school focused and ready to learn.
- Physical activity in schools. Across Minnesota, schools are working to increase physical activity within the instructional setting, building a foundation for lifelong physical activity. Active classroom breaks, physical education and recess all mean kids not only are healthier, but also learn better.
- Tobacco-free campuses. Post-secondary schools are helping students avoid the use of and exposure to tobacco products, by making campuses tobacco-free and connecting students and staff to smoking cessation services—including quitlines, quitting websites and face-to-face counseling.
- Healthier eating.Too many Minnesotans cannot find fresh fruits and vegetables near their homes, or what they can find is limited and expensive. Therefore, SHIP works with communities to increase access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables through farmers markets, healthy corner store initiatives, and other community-based healthy eating strategies.
- Increased non-motorized transportation.Cities and counties across Minnesota are working on creating master walk and bike plans; updating municipal plans to include “complete streets” with sidewalks and crosswalks; increasing access to connected walking and bicycling networks; connecting and promoting trail systems; and collaborating on projects that improve walkability and bikeability in communities.
- Healthier eating in childcare.SHIP helps early childhood programs offer healthy eating practices, including the highly successful Learning About Nutrition through Activities (LANA) program.
- More physical activity in childcare.Building physical activity into young children's days through programs such as I am Moving, I am Learning (IMIL) gets kids off to a healthy start.
- Tobacco free parks.Many residents of cities across Minnesota now enjoy tobacco-free parks, protecting kids from secondhand smoke.
- Smoke-free multi-unit housing.SHIP supports apartment building owners to put in place voluntary policies restricting smoking, resulting in less second‑hand smoke exposure for families and lower maintenance costs.
- Comprehensive workplace wellness employs voluntary policies to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and promote smoking cessation among Minnesota workers, improving employee health while reducing absenteeism and the health care costs incurred by employers.
SHIP helps healthcare providers integrate overweight/obesity and commercial tobacco use prevention and reduction into their practice through assessment and referral. Supporting breastfeeding is also critical to ensure the youngest among us grow up strong and healthy.