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2016 Annual Statewide Health Improvement Program Meeting

The 2016 Annual SHIP Meeting will bring together all SHIP grantees, MDH and other partners to reflect on accomplishments; build skills for maximizing the impact of SHIP; learn about statewide and local SHIP strategy initiatives; advance the health equity narrative; and continue to network and strengthen our state and local public health partnership.


July 26-27

Meeting objectives

  • Showcase local community accomplishments to energize and inspire participants  
  • Share knowledge, skills and practices to advance health equity 
  • Provide an opportunity for statewide networking  
  • Identify opportunities to align local strategy work with state and regional initiatives 


Note: Road construction is taking place near the Eagan Community Center; a detour has been posted. Get more information here.

Meeting program

Get the program here (PDF).

Meeting agenda

July 26 & 27 at a glance

Tuesday, July 26

7:30-8 a.m. Pre-Session

SHIP 101

Presenter: Allison Heinzeller, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

The goal of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to help Minnesotans live healthier lives by preventing risk factors that lead to chronic disease. This is done by building the capacity of communities to create health by increasing access to healthy foods and active living, and reducing commercial tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. If you are new to SHIP or just need a refresher, please join us for a quick overview.

7:30-8 a.m. Registration

8-9:40 a.m. Breakfast, Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Julie Myhre, Director, Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives, Minnesota Department of Health

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health

Keynote Address: Monte Roulier, Co-Founder and President, Community Initiatives

Growing Our Impact
This keynote will explore the leading practices of community health improvement efforts and the opportunities to deepen impact at the local and state level.

About Monte Roulier
As a consultant, coach, trainer and facilitator, Monte has helped hundreds of communities and a wide range of organizations, community partnerships and national initiatives to develop change strategies resulting in healthier people and places. He and the CI team also partnered to create and curate the Community Commons (, a powerful platform to help anyone who is or wants to become a change maker in his or her community.

10-10:50 a.m. Session One

11-11:50 a.m. Session Two

Noon-1:15 p.m. Plenary/Lunch

Rewriting the Rural Narrative

Presenter: Benjamin Winchester, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Community Vitality, University of Minnesota Extension

It seems the rural story has already been told. Small towns keep getting smaller. Churches, schools, clinics, businesses, and now post offices, have closed their doors as the lucky few migrate out to the big cities. This deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities. However, the story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar. Learn how these important positive changes have been occurring across the rural landscape that require us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change.

1:20-2:10 p.m. Session Three

2:10-2:40 p.m. Networking/Physical Activity Break

2:40-4 p.m. World Café/Visioning

Over the River and through the Woods: SHIP Past, Present and Future

Presenter: Becky Sechrist, Public Health Practice Section, Minnesota Department of Health

This interactive session will encourage networking while all participants engage in a creative activity designed to provoke thoughts about the past, present and future of SHIP.

Becky is a supervisor in the Public Health Practice Section at MDH. She supports unit staff that plan and implement activities to improve public health practice and performance across Minnesota’s state-local partnership. Becky has spent her entire career working in public health and thrives in larger and small group facilitation settings.

Wednesday, July 27

7:30-8 a.m. Registration

8-8:15 a.m. Welcome from Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire

8:15-9 a.m. Breakfast: Coffee and Conversation

Do you know what goes great with breakfast? Coffee and conversation. During breakfast, sit at any of the tables that list topics in which you’re interested. Every 10-15 minutes, the topic will change and a new conversation will begin. This is a great time to meet new people and get your regional passport signed.

9:10-10 a.m. Session One

10:20-11:10 a.m. Session Two

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Lunch/Plenary

Stakeholder Process and Leveraged Community Resources in Tribal Communities

Chris Tholkes, OSHII Assistant Division Director, will present on the Stakeholder Process for the Tribal SHIP and Tribal Tobacco grants.

Amanda Shongo from Leech Lake will present on healthy eating strategies incorporated with this round of Tribal SHIP. The effort included using data from the launch of the Minnesota Food Charter as a foundation for collaborations on community-based agriculture projects with the Leech Lake Green Team, Local Indian Councils, SNAP-Ed and LLBO Health Division. She will also showcase the beginning collaboration with AICAF and their technical assistance in conducting a Community Food Assessment.

12:30-1:20 p.m. Session Three

1:20-1:40 p.m. Networking/Physical Activity Break

1:40-3 p.m. Effective and Sustainable Partnerships; Closing

Presenter: Monte Roulier, Co-Founder and President, Community Initiatives

Session options (Tuesday, July 26)

10-10:50 a.m.

The Minnesota Comprehensive Tobacco Control Framework 2016-2021: A Blueprint for Health Equity

Presenter: Laura Oliven, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

Minnesota has a long and rich history of successfully reducing the harm tobacco causes its residents. However, the work is not done. Some communities still suffer disproportionally from tobacco-related death and disease. This new framework lays out an ambitious path to address the work that still needs to be done.

Incorporating Health in All Policies into Rural Comprehensive Plans

Presenters: Annie Harala, Healthy Northland; Russell Habermann, Arrowhead Regional Development Commission

A Comprehensive Plan sets community priorities, provides a foundation for land use and public infrastructure decisions and offers a framework for proactive planning. Join this session to learn how health can be incorporated into the community planning process and how it can lead to deeper local discussion and policy development on active spaces and transportation, healthy food access, and tobacco free living.

Presenting the Stress Management Strategy to Employers

Presenter: Kris Haugen, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

Stress management has made its debut as a fifth strategy for workplace wellness. This topic has created a tremendous buzz among employers and has brought a few challenges to implementation. Join the discussion about ways to present this successfully to your employers.

Working with AAA and the 60+ Population

Presenters: Lori Christiansen, Southeast Minnesota Area Agency on Aging; Erica Keppers, Morrison, Todd and Wadena SHIP; Blue Earth County SHIP

Please join us to learn how to incorporate seniors into SHIP strategies and how to partner with your AAA and other organizations that represent the senior population.

Speed Networking for Communications

Presenters: Sally Garry, Mower County (inviting media to events); Becky Graham, Wright County (creating a website); Laurie Masanz, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield (low cost/high impact communications); LaReesa Sandretsky, Healthy Northland (creating videos); Patty Takawira, Healthy Together (creating media outreach tools)

Want some tips and real solutions for some of your communications questions? Come to a speed networking session to learn how your colleagues approached projects that supported their communications work. This will be a great way to learn from your colleagues’ experiences and get some new ideas to take back to the office.

Leveraging Community Assets and Partnerships at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center Healthy Living Program

Presenters: Shirley Johnson, Winona State University and Rochester ALC Students’ Health Service; Jo Anne Judge-Dietz, Olmsted County Public Health

The Rochester Alternative Learning Center Healthy Living Program brought together community partners and SHIP to work with students and staff in transforming the school environment to surround students with healthy choices. This session will discuss preliminary data from the research project, implementation techniques and partner reflections.

11-11:50 a.m.

Setting the Course for Healthier Food Retail: Grocery and Convenience Stores

Presenters: Teresa Ambroz, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health; Julie Ralston Aoki, Public Health Law Center; Josh Ramaker, Rice County Public Health

Neighborhood grocery and convenience stores in many communities—particularly in rural areas—face significant challenges in successfully providing the variety of foods needed to support healthy diets. We will provide an update on policies and promising practices to support the availability of healthier foods in small groceries and convenience stores, emphasizing the need for culturally relevant strategies. Local public health staff will share their experiences and lessons learned working with stores, including the use of new assessment tools developed to help communities better understand local food environments and set the stage for engaging stores to move forward with positive, sustainable changes. 

Facilitation Tips and Techniques for Community Leadership Teams

Presenter: Jeannette Raymond, Public Health Practice Section, Health Partnerships Division, Minnesota Department of Health

Come to learn about and to practice facilitating exercises that could be used with your community leadership team. MDH staff and grantees will share approaches they have used and participants will have a chance to try out a few. Leave with written instructions and increased confidence to lead participatory activities including at least one activity to engage participants in a health equity conversation.

Engaging Youth as Change Makers: Making the Case, First Steps and Lessons Learned

Presenters: D’Ana Pennington, Minneapolis Health Department; youth worker (TBD)

Youth have incredible power to drive change, raise awareness and bring creative and thoughtful ideas to community health issues. The Minneapolis Health Department developed the Youth as Change-makers approach to support youth in driving their own healthy living ideas. At this session attendees will learn about the Youth as Change-makers approach, lessons learned and key steps in applying the approach to their own work.

Tobacco Cessation in Your Community: What You Should Know

Presenter: Brianna Longeway, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

During this presentation we will review current QUITPLAN Services offered and what new services are available, learn more about the Call it Quits Referral Program process and changes to the program and review changes for Medical Assistance populations and the health care providers that serve them.

Designing for Health: Planning for Public Spaces that Support Active Living

Presenters: Laura Fredrick Wang and Carol Anderson, Hennepin County

Public places that support biking, walking, transit and food access do not just happen. They must be intentionally designed and planned, and require thoughtful collaboration across disciplines. In 2015, the City of Corcoran sought help from Hennepin County to create such a place. This session will provide participants with a deeper understanding of how public health and public works can come together to build healthy communities, and how outcomes such as design guidelines and master plans are important in our work.

Implementing the Ten Steps for Breastfeeding Friendly Health Departments: Challenges, Successes and Lessons Learned

Presenters: Mikaela Robertson, Wright County; Katie Galloway, Dakota County; Joan Bulfer, Bloomington Public Health

SHIP grantees from more than 20 CHBs have expressed interest in working to improve support for breastfeeding in their county/counties by joining the Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department Basecamp forum. Representatives from Dakota County, Bloomington Public Health and Wright County will bring the conversation live by sharing their successes, challenges and lessons learned while working to implement the Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department Ten Steps.

1:20-2:10 p.m.

Evaluating SHIP: How to Demonstrate Impact

Presenters: Ann Zukoski, John Kingsbury, David Simmons, Liana Schreiber, Kim Edelmen, Cate Bosserman and Jennifer Pelletier, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

SHIP is making substantial investments in altering the landscape of local communities to implement PSE changes to create environments where all Minnesotans have access to healthy foods, opportunities for active lives and experience smoke free environments. Incredible work is being done but how do we demonstrate statewide impact of this work and communicate the value to community members, local officials and state legislators? In this session, we will briefly share the statewide plan for evaluating SHIP, factors shaping the evaluation design, plans for working with SHIP staff and how results will be shared. We invite you to engage with us in an active discussion of what evaluation priorities should be moving forward and how OSHII Evaluation staff can support local evaluation efforts.

School Wellness Works! From Policy to Action

Presenter: Terri Swartout, Minnesota Department of Education

The USDA has published its final rule on Local Wellness Policies, which is due to be released in summer 2016. In preparation for the release of this final ruling, Minnesota Department of Education has developed a toolkit highlighting new areas of the ruling as well as best practice steps to move policy forward. Learn about this new resource and how it can be a good engagement strategy for meeting with your school partners this fall.

On the Doorstep of the Twin Cities: Communities Planning for Biking and Walking Regionally

Presenters: Samantha Hageman, Benton County; Mandy Feeks, Sherburne County; Allison Dudek, Stearns County; Joel Torkelson, Wright County

This session explores Minnesota’s first-ever Regional Active Transportation Plan, a collaborative effort between Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties, their planning consultants and regional advisory group. The plan identifies opportunities to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians and bicyclists, and provides action-oriented steps to advance active transportation in the region.

Best Practices in Worksite Wellness Collaboratives

Presenters: Kris Haugen, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health; LeeAnn Huebsch and Liz Durkee, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties; Mary Urch, Steele County

In this session, learn from grantees in the field who have employed different methods to be successful in recruiting employers, working across several counties, conducting meetings, awarding mini grants and sustaining their networks. Strategies and tools will be shared to help you be successful.

Leveraging Community Coalitions to Increase Access to Healthy Food through PSE Initiatives

Presenters: Mary Marrow and Anna Larson, Public Health Law Center

Local, regional, and statewide coalitions and networks are developing throughout Minnesota to address systematic issues that limit the ability of many Minnesotans to access healthy and safe food. The growth of this movement is reflected in the work of the Minnesota Food Charter, continued growth and success of the Food Access Summit and work of SHIP grantees around the state. This presentation will provide an overview of Minnesota community coalitions and common PSE strategies coalitions have identified to increase access to healthy food in Minnesota communities. Presenters will provide an overview of work the Public Health Law Center is doing both with SHIP grantees as well as through its SNAP-Ed Community Partnership project with University of Minnesota Extension.

Addressing Food Insecurity: Three Healthcare Systems' Approach

Presenter: Katherine Mackedanz, Morrison, Todd and Wadena Counties

In 2014, Morrison-Todd-Wadena SHIP collaborated with Lakewood Health System in Staples on a new pilot project to address food insecurity by screening and referring food insecure clients to a Community Supported Agriculture food share program. As a result of the success of this pilot program this summer (2016), two other health care systems are replicating the program – St.  Gabriel's Hospital in Little Falls and CentraCare Health-Long Prairie. With three health systems focused on addressing food insecurity it provides an opportunity to discuss regional impact and health outcomes.

Let’s Go for a Walk: How to Host a Walkability Workshop (Mobile)

Presenters: Ellen Pillsbury, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health; Jill Chamberlain, Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

This will be an interactive session for participates to learn how to plan for and host a community walkability workshop that leads to local action planning. Attendees will be led on a walk and talk about how to strategically organize a walk, develop an invitation list and select a route that highlights a representative example of the communities built environment. The session format will provide an opportunity to practice leading a workshop and for peer-to-peer learning.

Session options (Wednesday, July 27)

9:10-10 a.m.

Introducing the Food Access Planning Guide

Presenters: Ellen Pillsbury and Lisa Gemlo, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health; Eric Weiss, Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota; Nadja Berneche and Maggi Adamek,Terra Soma

This session will explore the intersection of planning, food access, and equity and opportunities for public health to participate, engage and have an impact during a comprehensive planning process to policy. To support this work, presenters will share the “Minnesota Food Access Planning Guide,” a recently completed resource that includes information on planning, its role within the food system and model policy language for use in comprehensive plans.

School (Strategy) is in Session!

Presenters: Jill Verchota-Luce, Dakota County Public Health Department; Stacie O’Leary, Independent School District 197

Learn from one school partner’s experience serving as chair of her district’s wellness committee, what it took to develop a new School Health Advisory Council (one of only a few statewide!) and some of the successes and challenges of this seven-plus year school district/public health partnership. This interactive session will draw upon the experience of public health, school partner and expertise and collective wisdom of the audience. 

Health Equity Data Guide Community of Practice: A Pilot Project

Presenters: Ari McHenry and Kim Edelman, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health; Ann Kinney, CHS, Minnesota Department of Health; SHIP Grantee (TBD)

Minnesota Department of Health Equity Data Analysis Pilot project leads and grantees will present initial findings from the Health Equity Data Guide Community of Practice.

Bringing Health Equity to Underserved Populations

Presenter: Carolyn Novak and Dianne Blaydes, Hennepin County

Individuals with primary disabilities have a higher rate of secondary conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease than the general population. Improved nutrition and increased physical activity helps control or prevent these secondary conditions, resulting in an improved quality of life. The Wellness for Every Body initiative uses an environmental approach that targets adult foster care homes for intervention and creates conditions that establish healthy living as the norm. Learn about the methods this initiative used to improve healthy food access.

Navigating the New Tobacco “Normal”: Implications of the HUD and FDA Rules for Local Public Health

Presenters: Scott Kelly and Darlene Huang, Public Health Law Center

The tobacco control landscape is constantly evolving. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes. Learn about the new federal rule that addresses e-cigarettes and “other” tobacco products, the proposed smoke-free public housing rule and how both may impact the work you are doing in your communities.

Child’s Play: Enjoyable and Effective SHIP Child Care Efforts

Presenters: Susan DeMars, Wright County; Brenda Pohlman, Fillmore County

Let’s gather to play and talk about engaging home, center and system-based child care partners within the SHIP child care strategy. Fillmore and Wright counties will share successful examples of how working with partners can improve access to healthy futures for our youngest Minnesotans. This session will include information about child care agriculture, curricula, health equity and PSE.

10:20-11:10 a.m.

Health Equity Data Puzzle: Examples for Collecting Information from Hard-to-reach Populations

Presenters: Jean Streetar and Tommi Godwin, Washington County

Washington County Department of Public and Environment used one-time supplemental funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Program to develop a separate targeted survey process to hear from the underserved population in Washington County. Staff worked with community partners to administer the paper version of the Metro Survey of the Health of All Populations and the Environment (SHAPE) to more than 400 underserved residents in Washington County. This presentation will provide an overview of the multiple outreach efforts, perspectives, challenges and key results from the targeted surveillance project.

Social Media Best Practices

Presenters: Shaylene Baumbach, Olmsted County Public Health; Kaia Johnson, Minnesota Department of Health; Anna Snyder, Southwest Health and Human Services

Are you using social media channels effectively? How do you generate content for Twitter and Facebook? How do you build an audience? Get some best practices and learn from others who are active in the social media world.

Demonstration Projects: Low-Cost, Low-Risk Experiments in Infrastructure

Presenters: Sam Rockwell and Eric Weiss, Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

This will be a facilitated workshop about demonstration programs, also known as “tactical urbanism” initiatives. Presenters will provide an overview of demonstration initiatives, discuss the philosophy behind pop-ups and pilots, and outline how to implement these initiatives. Get a chance to participate in hands-on activity and design pop-up/pilot initiatives. Leave the training knowing how pop-ups and pilots lead to long-term permanent change.

Hey, That Actually Worked! Achieving Rural PSE Change through Coordination and Collaboration

Presenters: Hannah Abraham and Leah Schueler, Kandiyohi and Renville Counties; Annie Tepfer and Erin Simmons, ALA; Scott Kelly, Public Health Law Center

The retail environment is a critical area of focus for those working in tobacco control, healthy eating and active living initiatives in our communities. While point-of-sale (or POS) strategies and use restrictions enhance state and local tobacco control initiatives and reduce exposure to tobacco, change can be very difficult to accomplish. Coordination and collaboration are two key tools for successful policy change; the experience in Renville and Kandiyohi Counties is an example of both.

Workplace Wellness in Your School Districts

Presenter: Karen Nitzkorski, PartnerSHIP 4 Health

What does worksite wellness look like in a school setting? Learn about this and how to incorporate workplace wellness in a busy school calendar. The presentation will also include examples from other school districts.

The Impact of Active Schools Minnesota: Active Kids are Doing Better in School!

Presenter: Mary Thissen-Milder, OSHII, Minnesota Department of Health

A three-year Active Schools Minnesota Pilot Study concluded in June 2016 for 14 elementary schools in Minnesota. The study, supported by the Minnesota Department of Health through SHIP and the Minnesota Department of Education, was based on the assumption that the more physical activity opportunities students have, the more physically active students become, which also positively impacts educational outcomes. This session will provide preliminary school perception results regarding the impact of the study on school policy, systems and environment.

12:30-1:20 p.m.

How Assessment Methods Can Advance Health in All Policies

Presenter: Eamon Flynn, Environmental Health, Minnesota Department of Health

Our choices and behaviors are influenced by the social and physical environments of our community. These social determinants of health are in turn affected by a myriad of policies, programs and plans that transcend the health field to include transportation, housing, energy, climate change, urban design and social justice sectors. As Minnesota moves towards a vision of health in all policies, new tools and strategies will be necessary to affect change across disciplines and fields. In particular, Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) can uncover the linkages between a proposed policy, program or plan and its influence on the health of a community. This session will introduce the six steps of an HIA, present examples of how it has been used in Minnesota and elsewhere, and discuss how HIA can work in tandem with other assessment tools to identify and explore the root causes of health inequities within a community.

Dementia Friendly Communities

Presenter: Emily Farah-Miller, Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging

This session will focus on how communities can organize to adopt dementia friendly practices within and across all community sectors by using the ACT on Alzheimer’s® Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit and community engagement process. Panelists will discuss best practices and lessons learned from communities, ACT’s ongoing development of best practice resources, and how key partners contribute to the success of a dementia readiness effort.

A Community-Driven Approach to Reducing Sugary Drink Consumption in At-Risk Communities in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Presenters: Vish Vasani, Minneapolis Health Department

Sugary drinks are major contributors to poor diet and rising obesity rates, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color. Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) launched a healthier beverage campaign to encourage people and places to choose healthier beverages over sugary drinks. The combination of grassroots education and outreach with institutional PSE changes generated tangible improvements in communities experiencing health disparities and laid the foundation for exploring broader policy changes. Given the national interest in decreasing sugary drink consumption, the unique nature of this campaign can serve as a model for other communities.

Mobile Health Clinic Connects Uninsured Patients to Community Resources through Social Determinants of Health Tools

Presenters: Jenni Doble, Jamie Bachaus and Jennifer Roemhildt, Scott County Public Health

Scott County SHIP and Mobile Clinic staff are developing and implementing a screening tool that identifies needs surrounding the following Social Determinants of Health for uninsured patients: alcohol use, tobacco use, stress/depression, physical activity, nutrition, food insecurity, housing insecurity, exposure to violence and social isolation. Presenters will discuss how they have and continue to identify key community and county organizations that provide resources related to the targeted social determinants. This project aims to directly connect clients to local resources within our community to help build the clients' capacity to lead healthy lifestyles.

Active Communities: We Each Have a Role to Play

Presenters: Jill Chamberlain, Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (moderator); Wayne Hurley, West Central Initiative Foundation; Jessica Peterson, Horizon Public Health; Kristin DeArruda Wharton, Moving Matters

Creating communities that support access to opportunities to be physically active requires a collaborative approach and the expertise of multiple disciplines. Public health professionals are in a unique position to support and sometimes lead these changes in their community. In this session, learn about specific examples of local public health professionals advancing significant changes in their respective communities of Alexandria and Grand Marais. Hear from a director of planning who recently completed a report for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Center for Prevention.

Innovative Workplace Wellness Strategy: Working with Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Presenter: Carissa Glatt, St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health

Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health created an innovative way to reach a diverse group of worksites through its partnership with the local Chamber of Commerce. This partnership is a benefit not only for SHIP to help expand reach, but it also serves as a value-added benefit for Chamber members. Presenters will review this relationship and how it can be replicated in other counties.

Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum (Mobile)

Presenters: CJ Lindor and Michelle Breidenbach, Bike Alliance of MN

Many Minnesota communities are using Walk! Bike! Fun! (WBF) Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety curriculum as part of their local Safe Routes to School program to support educators. Students learn how to safely walk and bike in their community through classroom and hands-on activities about sharing the road, controlling their bikes, avoiding potential hazards and more. Learn about and experience the WBF curriculum and lessons through on-bike instruction using the Bicycle Alliance of MN bike fleet. Bikes and helmets will be provided.

Updated Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 08:40AM