July 18, 2017
Minnesota health commissioner hitting the road again in 2017 to pitch public health across the state
Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger is hitting the road for the sixth summer in a row to hold “Pitch the Commissioner” events around the state. At each stop, he will invite community members to share their best ideas about how to improve health in their community – while playing a friendly game of horseshoes.
Houston County Public Health will host the first pitch event of the summer at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 31 at Caledonia Area Elementary School, located at 511 West Main Street in the city of Caledonia. This year’s Pitch the Commissioner schedule continues with mid-August stops in Marshall and Mankato and September visits with representatives of the White Earth Nation and a community conversation in Bemidji.
Commissioner Ehlinger will start the July 31 event with a brief presentation on what Minnesota needs to have healthy people and healthy communities, and then he will join participants in pitching horseshoes. After the event, he will also make a stop in Preston to meet with representatives of local government and community members and will do a ribbon cutting for a new bike fleet.
“Health is created in communities, and community members typically have the best sense for what their areas need to improve and sustain health,” Commissioner Ehlinger said. “Pitch the Commissioner events are fun opportunities to get out into communities and meet people, and they provide us with insights that we can turn into policy priorities. I look forward to hearing some great ideas on how we can work together to make their communities stronger and healthier.”
This is the sixth summer of horseshoe pitching, and previous events have covered all corners of the state from Winona to Worthington to International Falls. While pitching, participants have the opportunity to share their ideas with Commissioner Ehlinger about how local and state government can help to improve the health of their community. Past events have included conversations ranging from the importance of adequate mental health services to health care workforce development to safe sidewalks. Minnesota Department of Health staff work with local public health officials to develop unique events that highlight community-level initiatives and resources.
For more information and an updated itinerary for the Caledonia event, visit the MDH website at Pitch the Commissioner.