Community Health

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The Community Health Unit engages with several community groups to address community priorities and needs for all age groups. Initiatives currently focus:

  • Increasing physical activity and nutrition
  • Reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and exposure
  • Promoting community connections
  • Positive mental well-being.

Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

In Minnesota, community health assessments are performed for the geographic regions covered by Community Health Boards (CHB’s). A thorough and valid community health assessment is a customary practice and core function of public health, and also a national standard for all public health departments. Since the passage of the Local Public Health Act in 1976, Minnesota CHB’s have been required to engage in a community health improvement process, beginning with a Community Health Assessment (CHA). The Morrison-Todd-Wadena Community Health Board collaborates with local health care systems to complete a Community Health Survey and their community health needs assessment.  For more information on the results of the assessment, see the full report below.

Statewide Health Improvement Program

We all want to be healthy, but sometimes we need a helping hand. The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) does this by focusing on:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Improving nutrition
  • Reducing the number of people who use tobacco or are exposed to it. 

SHIP is a collaborative effort including:

  • Morrison, Todd, and Wadena County Public Health agencies
  • Local healthcare providers
  • Community groups
  • Worksites
  • Schools 

working together to make it easier for everyone to be healthier.

For more information contact Carmen Genske

MDH's Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

The Morrison County Community Health Assessment team has completed a project to reduce youth obesity. Through this initiative, we wanted to incorporate improving overall community health, nutrition, and families spending time together in healthy ways. 

A project we have developed is a fitness trail, otherwise known as the Fit Trail, at the Little Falls Pine Grove Zoo/Park. The trail is about ½ mile long. Along the fitness trail will be various pieces of fitness equipment and workouts. Please check it out for a fun way to get outside and be active! 

Tobacco Free Communities (TFC)

The Tobacco-Free Communities Grant aims to:

  • Reduce and prevent youth tobacco use
  • Address tobacco-related disparities

across Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties by promoting community-driven tobacco prevention and control activities and strategies. Grant staff implement activities that help:

  • Build community capacity
  • Change social norms around tobacco
  • Foster community readiness
  • Support for tobacco control policies within their communities.

For more information visit Minnesota Department of Health’s webpage on MDH's Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program

Toward Zero Deaths (TZD)

Mission Statement: The mission of Morrison County's Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Safe Roads coalition is to bring together community partnerships to focus on:

  • Traffic safety
  • Create a fatal review committee to analyze community traffic deaths
  • Identify and implement strategies based on outreach and enforcement that might have prevented traffic deaths.

5 E’s to change traffic safety culture:

  • Education: Giving drivers the knowledge they need to avoid hazardous driving practices and choose responsible behavior.
  • Enforcement: Ensuring compliance with traffic laws to change driver behavior and reduce unsafe driving practices.
  • Engineering: Changing the roadway—including cable median barriers, signage, and the roadside—to make travel safer.
  • Emergency Medical and Trauma Services: Providing fast, efficient emergency medical and trauma services to reduce fatalities and serious injuries whenever a crash does occur.
  • Everyone: Advocating for zero deaths while adopting behaviors and changing culture to get there.

Looking at our region as a whole, we see “the big 4” as factors that contribute most often to our fatal and serious injury crashes. The big 4 being:

  • Seat belt use
  • Impaired driving (alcohol and drugs)
  • Speed
  • Distracted driving.

Each month the Morrison County Safe Roads Coalition does activities to draw awareness to these factors and hopes to change unsafe driving behaviors. 

For more information, visit the TZD Minnesota webpage.