News release: Good health starts at the MDH State Fair booth

News Release
August 22, 2016

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Good health starts at the MDH State Fair booth

Exhibit highlights how our communities affect our health

While a caramel-free apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is serving up a more complete vision of what makes us healthy at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together.

MDH will ask visitors to its booth to think about the question “Where does good health start?” Located in the Education Building just north of Dan Patch Avenue on Cosgrove Street, the 2016 MDH display focuses on how good health starts long before we go to the doctor’s office. It’s created in our communities where we live, learn, work and play.

Although eating healthy foods, getting exercise and going to the doctor’s office affect individual health, the MDH booth highlights that one’s health goes beyond the individual decisions we make. This year’s booth emphasizes that the health of individual Minnesotans is greatly shaped by the decisions we make as a community, such as building more bike paths, promoting affordable housing and encouraging paid family leave.

“We are fortunate in Minnesota to have a world-class health care system, but we also know that our health is about much more than what happens at the clinic or hospital,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “With this year’s display, we’re challenging some of those perceptions to help people see how individual health is affected by housing, transportation, education and so many other aspects of community life.”

In order to spark blue-ribbon community conversations at the MDH booth, each visitor will receive a hand fan to cool down – and to write or draw what they think their community needs to be healthy. Fairgoers will hold up their messages in the MDH photo booth and snap photos, which they’re encouraged to share on social media using the hashtag #mnhealthy.

The MDH booth will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the fair.

Other MDH Programs at the Fair

Eco Experience

Located in the Eco Experience Building at the corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street.

Learn about clean air and water, saving energy, climate change, recycling, healthy local food, gardening, green building and remodeling, transportation and other ways to lead more eco-friendly lives. More than 150 organizations and businesses across the state partner to present the Eco Experience (updated with 2020 link) – the second most-visited exhibit at the fair and the largest environmental event of its kind in the country. This year’s drinking water exhibit, sponsored by MDH’s Drinking Water Protection Program, will feature a beanbag toss game related to contaminants in drinking water, an interactive puzzle of the water cycle and a “magic faucet.”

Newborn Screening

Located in the Health Fair 11 Building in the East Crossroads auditorium at the intersection of Dan Patch Avenue and Cooper Street.

Named one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, newborn screening saves or improves the lives of more than 500 of Minnesota’s babies each year. The MDH Newborn Screening Program booth will partner with a different organization – that in some way works to support newborn screening – each day to help fairgoers learn about the life-saving screening program in Minnesota and share stories of Minnesotans impacted by newborn screening. Pregnant women and parents who have a child age one or younger are invited to complete a short survey and receive a free onesie, and all visitors can pick up a free “I’m a fan of newborn screening” hand fan.

Lactation Station

Located on the west side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues.

Women in Minnesota can breastfeed anywhere they are legally allowed to be, including anywhere at the fair – but sometimes it’s helpful to have a quieter, cooler place away from distractions for breastfeeding or pumping. The myTalk 107.1 Lactation Station, sponsored by the Minnesota WIC Program, offers moms and babies a private place to feed or pump and pick up information about WIC services.

For more information, visit MDH at the Minnesota State Fair.


Media inquiries:

Rachel Evans
MDH Communications