Dementia focus added to help build healthier communities

The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) community-led health improvement efforts are getting a $27.2 million funding boost from the Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), a state and locally-funded partnership now operating in all 87 counties. Partners in Healthy Living leads the local SHIP efforts for Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties. For a history of their work through SHIP,  click here.

SHIP helps Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives while building healthy, vital communities. As part of that mission, this year’s funding awards allow cities and counties to add a focus on the health of seniors and efforts that help delay the onset or progression of dementia for those over age 60. SHIP will continue to support efforts that increase opportunities for active living, healthy eating and avoiding commercial tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

“SHIP has been instrumental in helping Minnesota make progress on obesity and tobacco use, factors that contribute to expensive chronic diseases, disability and death,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger.  “We’re excited to send this funding to communities to support their health initiatives in every county in the state.”

Partners in Healthy Living has members of the Community Leadership Team whose work and organizations directly impact populations over 60. The University of Minnesota Extension and MN Council on Aging and Lakes and Pines Community Action Council are represented and their input directly impacts the community.

Additionally, the team in Isanti County Public Health is developing a partnership with Act on Alzheimer’s in Cambridge to provide education in the community about dementia and the benefits of early detection and treatment. This partnership has the goal of dissolving common misconceptions that may persist in the community regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Mille Lacs County also works with the group, ReMembering Matters in Onamia.

With evidence-based, community-level, comprehensive strategies, Partners in Healthy Living creates opportunities for healthy choices where people live, learn, work and seek health care. Over time this leads to better health, lowers health care costs and improves quality of life in Minnesota.

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