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Commissioner Ehlinger pitches horseshoes and policy in Greater Minnesota

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM
Categories: Health

Pitch the Commissioner

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger meets with local officials in Cannon Falls

State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger will make the final leg of his “Pitch the Commissioner” campaign next week in Bemidji as he seeks ideas to keep the state healthy.

The Commissioner has already visited several Minnesota communities, meeting with local officials to enjoy a game of horseshoes and talk public health.

“Pitching horseshoes is a fun and easy way for people to be physically active and engage in conversation at the same time,” Ehlinger said. “I want to hear what Minnesotans have to say about what their communities need to be healthy.”

The tour has emphasized prevention and public health as the Commissioner has sought to find out what kind of infrastructure Minnesota communities need to help residents stay active.


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"Circles of Support" Make Transitioning to Independent Living Easier For Minnesotans With Disabilities

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Categories: Health, Human Rights

New partnerships are making a home of their own possible for hundreds of Minnesota citizens with disabilities- as over 500 people since 2009 have said welcome home to the new possibilities of independent living. 

These new possibilities have been created through the Housing Access Services (HAS), which is a partnership of The Arc of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. For many adults with disabilities, living at home or living in a group home is no longer the right fit. They desire the same independent lifestyles that many take for granted. HAS helps adults with disabilities navigate many of the logistical problems with reaching independence, such as finding housing, filling out paperwork and financial documents, moving in, and finding access to jobs and transportation.


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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on October 09, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Categories: Health, Greater Minnesota, Education

The Minnesota State Capitol and Governor Mark Dayton Declare October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in MN

Governor Dayton proclaims October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the State of Minnesota

Breast cancer touches the lives of many Minnesotans and according to the National Cancer Institute, will affect one in every eight women, with most having no family history of the disease. An increasing number of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. When diagnosed early, breast cancer is highly treatable and the best way to detect breast cancer in early stages is through annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month provides both a time to honor those lost to the disease as well as an opportunity to empower women in their fight against breast cancer by spreading the message of prevention and early detection through annual screening mammograms.

Financial and social barriers often prevent women from seeking screening mammograms. In addition to raising awareness, fundraising initiatives such as the Be Pink initiative, help institutions like the Park Nicollet Jane Brattain Breast Center make mammography accessible to more women in our Minnesotan community.


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Minnesota Wins National Food Safety Grant

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Health

Child eating carrot

A new grant awarded from the FDA will ensure that Minnesota continues to lead the nation in food safety.

Minnesotans will now have new help in fighting contaminated food and food-borne illnesses that, according to the CDC, affect 1 in 6 Americans every year.

The help comes in the form of $600,000 in grant money which was awarded to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture this week by the FDA.

The money will be used to create a Minnesota Food Safety Center of Excellence which will work to: gather foodborne-illness surveillance data, provide rapid identification of pathogens, and respond effectively by removing tainted food as quickly as possible.

The three-year grants will help the Agriculture Department more quickly trace contaminated foods to grocery stores and other distribution points, and will help bolster MDA efforts to ensure that recalled products are quickly and fully withdrawn from the marketplace.

So what does this mean for the average Minnesotan?


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Blog - Governor Dayton Applauds State of the Art Veterans Care Center

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Health, Seniors

VetHomes2.jpg

Minnesota has long been a leader in providing care for our veterans and assuring they receive the highest standard of care. The latest addition to the Minneapolis Veterans Home is no exception; it will be only the second such facility in the country to offer day services in a Veteran-specific model of care.

Governor Dayton spoke yesterday at the dedication for the brand new facility – called “Building 19” – which is a new, state-of-the-art, skilled nursing facility and Adult Day Center. It features 100 private rooms arranged to provide a home-like atmosphere for veterans receiving care, and it incorporates the latest technology and modern amenities to enhance care.


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Minnesota DHS Makes Accountability a Priority

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Technology

DHS_Dashboard.jpg

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is built upon the idea of helping Minnesotans, and thanks to their online public dashboard tool, it’s become even easier for Minnesotans to help themselves to information on the progress of DHS.

The DHS Dashboard allows taxpayers to know what they’re getting from the programs they pay for, and was inspired by Governor Mark Dayton’s “Better Government for a Better Minnesota” reform effort. The dashboard debuted one year ago, and has now been updated to include the most recent data available for the majority of its 15 measures of progress, as well as introducing additional measurements. As DHS advances in its commitment to accountability, transparency, and continual performance improvement, more measures will continue to be added.


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Minnesota Health Care Exchange for Farmers

Posted on August 06, 2012 at 4:52 PM
Categories: Agriculture, Health

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange will give farmers affordable health care coverage choices for their families and their employees. Farmers can select low cost health insurance for their families from the consumer exchange, or purchase coverage for themselves and their employees from the small  business exchange. Whatever the choice, farmers will see savings between 7.5 and 20 percent after federal tax credits.


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Minnesota Named Top State for E-prescribing

Posted on August 02, 2012 at 3:12 PM
Categories: Health, Technology

Minnesota leads the country in e-prescribing, making it one of the most safe and efficient places to get your medication. E-prescribing allows a prescriber to electronically send error-free prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care, which decreases the risks associated with the traditional method of prescribing; research has shown that e-prescribing reduces medication error rates by almost sevenfold in community-based office practices, including elimination of errors due to illegible handwriting. 

Minnesota's success is due to its collaborative approach, which is led by the Minnesota e-Health Initiative, a public-private collaborative established in 2004 that is guided by a 25-member advisory committee appointed by the commissioner of health to provide advice and feedback on policy making related to health information technology (HIT) in Minnesota.

The rankings are put out by Surescripts, the nation’s largest health information network. For 2011 and are determined by an analysis of data that measures the electronic prescribing use by physicians, pharmacies and payers in each state. Minnesota came in first place for e-prescribing in Surescripts’ 7th annual Safe-Rx Awards. See Surescripts profile of Minnesota here.


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A Dozen States Already Showing Leadership on Health Insurance Marketplaces

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Categories: Health, Reform

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Because of the Supreme Court’s clear and final decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, middle class families and small businesses have greater security when it comes to health care – they can keep their current coverage or, if they need to or want to, search for new, affordable insurance options. In 2014, we can look forward to new state-based health insurance marketplaces, called Affordable Insurance Exchanges, where consumers can compare health care plans and choose a private health plan that meets their needs. Across the country, a dozen states have committed in recent weeks that they will lead efforts to create these Exchanges.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and each state has the opportunity to tailor its Exchange to meet its citizens’ needs. States have the flexibility to decide whether to build a state Exchange, work with other states, or partner with the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to flexibility in our support of the states’ progress in whatever route they choose, as well as providing planning and implementation funds to help the states to establish the marketplace that suits their residents’ needs.

We have already begun to hear from governors on their states’ commitment to establishing these one-stop-shop marketplaces.

As Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee noted in his letter, he signed an executive order in September 2011 to begin work on an Exchange, an effort he says “will provide Rhode Island families and small businesses with access to more affordable, high quality health insurance coverage.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote that Maryland’s state-based Exchange is “well underway and we continue to make significant progress with strong support from the state’s political leadership and broad-based stakeholder community.”

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Stay Safe This Independence Day

Posted on July 03, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Transportation, Public Safety

Driving.jpg

As we celebrate our history and take pride in our nation this July 4th, the Dayton Administration and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourage Minnesotans to take extra care and caution while behind the wheel.

In Minnesota, July 4th has been the deadliest day on the road for the last three years, resulting in 15 traffic deaths over the 24-hour period. “The spike in drinking and driving deaths during the Fourth of July is a clear and simple reminder why Minnesotans need to plan ahead for a sober ride” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. During the holiday travel period, 66 percent of traffic deaths are a result of drunk driving.

With a stated mission “to create a culture for which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable,” The DPS, along with the Departments of Health and Transportation, the State Patrol, and others, have started the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative which works through “education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical and trauma services” to improve road safety for Minnesota citizens.


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