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The Upper Sioux Community Statewide Health Improvement Program helps make working healthier

According to an Upper Sioux Community employee, in the past, “I was very discouraged by the junk foods being consumed on a regular basis when staff would meet. It is hard to resist eating unhealthy foods when they are made available in the workplace.”

This feeling was shared by others and so healthier workplaces became a focus for the Upper Sioux Community Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Changes have been made at all three worksites in the Upper Sioux Community due to SHIP. Hundreds of employees in the Upper Sioux Community have been impacted by new policies to allow access to exercise during their workday, expanded workout spaces, healthier food choices at meetings and in vending machines, a healthy employee menu, smoke-free areas, etc. These changes are helping to reduce obesity and commercial tobacco use/exposure-related diseases in our community. Partners include, but are not limited to, Prairie’s Edge Casino and Resort, Upper Sioux Community Board of Trustees, and various departments within the Upper Sioux Community. 

Now, that same employee says, “I have been really impressed by the changes made through the SHIP program, especially in food choices at the staff meetings/employee get-togethers.”  The employee continues, “Now we have fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cheese at meetings.  We have a monthly ‘birthday meal,’ instead of birthday cake and ice cream for the person’s birthday.  I feel better about the choices we are making, and the change is easy when it is done as a group.”