News release: Health commissioner on the road again to pitch horseshoes, public health

News Release
July 9, 2014

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Health commissioner on the road again to pitch horseshoes, public health

First Pitch the Commissioner 2014 event set for Nobles County on Tuesday, July 22

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger will be visiting communities around the state again this summer inviting local officials, community leaders, and Minnesotans interested in the health of their community to join him in a game of horseshoes while they discuss important public health issues.

The first Pitch the Commissioner event is set for Nobles County on Tuesday, July 22, at the Chautauqua Park horseshoe pits, located at 418 Lake Avenue in Worthington. Commissioner Ehlinger will meet with community members and pitch horseshoes from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Before tossing horseshoes, Commissioner Ehlinger will speak at the Nobles County Board meeting from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Nobles County Government Center. The day's agenda will conclude with a tour of the JBS meatpacking facility in Worthington to learn about on-site health education efforts.

An avid fan of the traditional American game of horseshoes, Commissioner Ehlinger said the goal of the Pitch the Commissioner events is to create opportunities to talk with local officials, community groups and residents about public health issues in their communities and to learn more about how to advance public health around the state.

"Pitching horseshoes is a fun and easy way for people to be physically active and engage in conversation at the same time," Commissioner Ehlinger said. "It's great to get out and visit people around the state, and hear their thoughts on what their communities need to be healthy."

This will be the third summer Commissioner Ehlinger has chatted up Minnesotans over horseshoes. This time around, he is particularly interested in hearing about public health priorities for the 2015 state legislative session.

The "Pitch the Commissioner" events in other communities will follow a similar itinerary, but will be tailored to local needs. Events may include observing activities that highlight local public health in action. Scheduled events so far include Eveleth on August 13, Cook on August 14, and Marshall on August 28.

Possible topics of discussion for the events could include the importance of disease prevention as a strategy for controlling health care costs particularly the infrastructure needed to help people become active (like having horseshoe pits available), the impact of policy decisions on health, how to strengthen local health departments and health care reform – or anything else local officials want to mention.

NOTE: In case of rain, the Pitch the Commissioner event will move to West Learning Center Media Center, 117 11th Ave.


Media inquiries:

Michael Schommer
MDH Communications