News release: Minnesota Department of Health wins ASTHO-United Health Foundation America's Health Rankings Champion Award

News Release
September 19, 2013

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Minnesota Department of Health wins ASTHO-United Health Foundation America's Health Rankings Champion Award

The United Health Foundation and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) announced today that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is the 2013 winner of the inaugural America's Health Rankings Champion Award. The award is given to a state or territorial health department that leverages the rankings to significantly improve health outcomes, including health equity, and to build relationships with local health departments and other partners.

"We are honored to be the first state to win the America's Health Rankings Champion Award," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. "The Minnesota Department of Health uses the rankings information to motivate our department programs and community partners in a shared effort to make Minnesota the healthiest state possible."

For 23 years, America's Health Rankings has provided analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings. Minnesota leaders rely on the rankings as an important source of health data and motivation for action. Commissioner Ehlinger uses the rankings as a tool for determining Minnesota's health strengths and areas for improvement, and to monitor progress on the Healthy Minnesota 2020 Statewide Health Improvement Framework. MDH also includes state and local partners in efforts to improve health outcomes using the rankings, collaborating with local public health agencies and others.

"The Minnesota Department of Health utilizes America's Health Rankings as a true driver for change," said ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris. "We are proud of the leadership the state has shown using these indicators to address smoking, obesity, diabetes, infant mortality, and other health issues."

As the America's Health Rankings Champion Award winner, MDH received $2,000, funding for one person to attend ASTHO's September 2013 Annual Meeting, and a certificate at the meeting honoring the state's accomplishments. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. More information can be found online at


Media inquiries:

Michael Schommer
MDH Communications