Data Practices Requests - Minnesota Department of Health

Data Practices Requests

Who can make a data practices request?

Under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13), public data is available to any member of the public, including but not limited to individual people, the media, companies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

People can also obtain both public and private data about themselves. 

Information for the Public About Public Access to MDH Data and the Rights of Data Subjects (PDF) explains both the process for members of the public to request public data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the process for people to request access to their own data.

What is the difference between a regular data request and data practices request?

If you know which MDH division has the data you are looking for, you can choose to request the data directly from that division.  This may allow you to access the data more quickly.  However, if you contact the division directly you are not making a formal data request under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, which means that MDH is not required to respond to your request.

If you want to make a formal data request under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act—also called a “data practices request”—you must make your request in writing and follow the instructions below.

How do I make a data practices request?

If you wish to make a data practices request asking for public data or for data about yourself, you must submit your request in writing.  Your request should include the following information:

  • A statement that you are making a request for data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
  • A clear description of the data you want to see.
  • A statement explaining whether you are asking to inspect the data (meaning, view in person) or paper or electronic copies of the data.  If you are asking for paper or electronic copies of the data, we will need to know where to send the data.
    Note: There is no charge for inspecting data, but MDH may charge for copies of data.

Where do I submit a data practices request?

By law, the Commissioner of Health is the designated authority who is responsible for the collection, use, and dissemination of MDH’s data.  Data practices requests are handled by staff members assigned to respond to requests on behalf of the Commissioner. 

If you wish to make a data practices request, you must send your written request to MDH one of two ways:

PO Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

Where do I send questions or complaints about data practices requests?

Questions or complaints about data requests or access to data may be emailed to Health.DataPracticesRequest@state.mn.us, or directed to the Interim Data Practices Attorney, Mindy Hexum. You can contact Mindy Hexum at Mindy.Hexum.C19@state.mn.us, telephone 651-201-5741, or the following address: P.O. Box 64975, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975.

Updated Thursday, 20-Aug-2020 09:49:25 CDT