State to start funding SHIP health programs again

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mower County is about to get back on the SHIP.

After funding for the Statewide Health Improvement Program was reduced significantly a few years ago, the Minnesota Department of Health has now received $35 million to reinstate the program’s activities during the next state biennium.

Community Health Director Lisa Kocer told the county board Tuesday the Department of Health will likely award grants to all community health boards.

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SHIP aims to create healthy parents, children and communities by promoting healthy behaviors. For example, SHIP programs often focus on tobacco cessation, healthy eating and healthy activities.

Kocer said it’s too early to know how the funding will be used locally, but she expects to learn more next month.

In 2010 and 2011, $161,480 was spent on community projects in Mower County through SHIP. The program’s funds have previously been used to buy snack carts featuring healthy food at elementary schools, to purchase no smoking signs after Riverland Community College went smoke-free, to place bike racks at 12 sites and to help support Hy-Vee’s Sprout: Get Out and Grow.


In other business

—The county commissioners also unanimously approved a $2,825 Eliminating Health Disparities grant for 2014.

—Kocer warned that tick season will be in full swing through mid-July, especially in wooded areas. While some area residents assumed the snow may have reduced the population, Kocer said the snow may have actually been good for ticks.