Summer 2019

What are the "CHA" and “CHIP”?

Have you heard the terms “CHIP” and “CHA” before?  CHA stands for Community Health Assessment. The community health assessment describes the overall health of Goodhue County, the factors that contribute to health challenges, and existing community resources.  The CHA is the start of a strategic planning process for improving community health. It looks to determine what the top health issues are and where we need to focus efforts and build partnerships. The top ten health issues in Goodhue County are identified in the CHA. For 2017, the top three issues in Goodhue County were income/poverty, mental health/well-being, and overweight/obesity. You can see the complete list of the top ten health issues below.

CHIP stands for Community Health Improvement Plan. The CHIP is focused on improving the health of all community members in Goodhue County. It describes what is going on in the community that will lead to a measurable change in health and how it will be measured. The CHIP is a result of a collaborative community effort and is part of the strategic planning process describing how the local health department and community partners can address the needs identified in the CHA. The 2023 vision is for equitable opportunity for all Goodhue County residents to experience optimal health across the dimensions of well-being.

From the health issues identified in the community health assessment, three health priorities for Goodhue County were developed. The priorities are: talk about the impact of poverty on health, reduce barriers to mental health care, and engage priority populations.

Click here to read the action plans for each priority.



New Farmers Market!

2019 newsletterfarmers market
Goodhue started a new and thriving farmers market this summer! Live Well Goodhue County partnered with the City of Goodhue to provide funding for promotional materials and startup costs. Farmers markets bring so many benefits to a community. They improve access to nutritious foods, which can help residents live healthier lives. Farmers markets promote a sense of community by increasing socialization among residents. They are family friendly and a great opportunity to encourage healthy eating at a young age. "The Goodhue Farmers Market is a great place to meet a friend or have supper with family, purchase some healthy foods and some lovingly handmade items,” said Tiffany Gadient, Goodhue Farmers Market customer. “It has a small town feel with a wide variety of items to meet everyone's needs."  By going to the farmers market, you are supporting your local farmers and your community.

The Goodhue Farmers Market typically has 5-6 vendors each week and 1 food truck. You can find a variety of products there including meat (chicken and beef), baked goods, canned goods, and vegetables. They also allow 25% of the vendors to sell homemade items, so they have woodwork and bath bombs as well. There has been a great turnout at the new farmers market so far. “I am so incredibly pleased with how well our market has been going,” said Selene O’Reilly, Market Manager.  “The community is clearly supportive of this endeavor and have shown that a farmers market is something that our tiny town has needed for some time. I’m hopeful that we can continue with a market for years to come.”

They also started the Power of Produce (PoP) program on July 24th. This is an incentive program for kids ages 4-12. Each week, children can get a free $2 token that they can use to buy fruits, vegetables, and food plants from the produce vendors at the Goodhue Farmers Market. Children also receive a free market tote when they sign up which can be used to carry their produce. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, parents of children participating in PoP clubs say their children are trying more fruits and vegetables at home.1

There are many neighborhoods without access to healthy food options. Farmers markets are just one way to increase access to healthy foods in your community. The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) aims to improve access to healthy foods, with a focus on areas with reduced access. SHIP can provide assistance for farmers markets, emergency food systems, community gardens, food retail including convenience stores, vending and menus in non-chain restaurants, cafeterias and catering.

Details for Goodhue's Farmers Market are as follows:

When: Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm in June through September
           Thursdays, 4pm-7pm in October

Where: Intersection of 3rd Avenue and Broadway in Goodhue, MN

If you are interested in working on a healthy eating strategy in your community, please email Megan Roschen for more information.

1 University of Minnesota Extension, 2017 PoP Club Results,


Active Kids Learn Better!

The federal physical activity guidelines were updated in 2018. New research has shown that any amount of physical activity has some health benefits and the guidelines encourage all Americans to move more frequently throughout the day. In the United States, one in three kids is overweight or obese.1 Obesity puts kids at risk for health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and unhealthy blood cholesterol and has been shown to affect kids’ cognitive development.1

The new guidelines for children ages 3 to 5 state that preschool-aged children should be active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Caregivers should encourage active play for 3+ hours per day. For ages 6 to 17, the recommendations remain 60 minutes of physical activity per day.2 Regular physical activity and higher levels of physical fitness have been linked to many benefits including improved academic performance, attention and memory, improved bone and heart health, and decreased risk of depression in youth.1

We know that kids learn better when they are active and healthy. The two images below show the average amount of neural activity during a test following sitting and walking for 20 minutes.1 Schools have a huge opportunity to increase the amount of physical activity kids are getting and set the foundation for lifelong healthy habits.


Walking while listening and learning at Twin Bluff Middle School

Obesity in children and youth is a serious issue with health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood.  The obesity rate in Minnesota for youth ages 10-17 is 10.4% compared to 15.8% of U.S. youth ages 10-17.¹
Twin Bluff Middle School Teachers Emily Nelson and Jody Bergeson have seen evidence of this in their classrooms so they decided to take action.  After learning about “The Walking Classroom” and the benefits students receive while they “Walk, Listen & Learn”, they applied for a Live Well Goodhue County grant to purchase walking kits for their students to use during the 2018/19 school year.

The goal of The Walking Classroom is to get students heart rates up while reinforcing concepts that were learned in class.  Students listen to podcasts that range in length from 13-17 minutes while walking.  During the year, students listened to 50 different podcast, totaling 889 minutes of extra activity that otherwise would have been spent sitting in desks.  During the winter, students continued to walk outside except for eight times when the temperature was too low.  In Mrs. Nelson’s class, students reported that they love the opportunity to walk and learn.  Both teachers commented that starting the day with a “Walk, Listen & Learn” session helped students increase their energy and improved their mood.
Students reported feeling calm, relaxed and peaceful while walking and learning.  After walking and learning, students felt happy, calm and refreshed.  When asked how many days a week would they like to “Walk, Listen & Learn”, 75% of the students responded 4 or more.


     1Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2018). Study of Children Ages 10 to 17 (2016-17). Retrieved from The State of Obesity website.


New study shows SHIP boosting Minnesota employers’ workplace wellness efforts

Employers participating in Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) overwhelmingly reported positive changes in healthy eating and physical activity among their employees, according to a new study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). These findings are encouraging for employers looking to improve workers’ health and productivity and to reduce health care costs down the road.

According to the study, 73% observed improvements in healthy food and beverages consumed by employees, and 67% noticed increases in physical activity. The study evaluated the impact of workplace wellness efforts, including strategies to support breastfeeding mothers and help employees quit smoking, eat healthier and be more physically active.

Employers credited SHIP, with 92% of workplaces indicating that their organization’s wellness goals have advanced due to SHIP. Because most adults spend half of their day at work, workplaces play a key role in helping people reach their health goals. In 2018, more than 800 SHIP workplaces made changes to promote a healthier work culture for 86,000 employees.

Employers are strengthening wellness efforts through SHIP, according to the study. Since participating in SHIP, the number of Minnesota employers adding healthy food options at company functions tripled and those adding breastfeeding rooms for nursing mothers more than doubled. Data also show the longer a workplace is involved with SHIP, the more wellness strategies it is likely to have in place.

“Healthy, motivated employees are important to a workplace and to a company’s bottom line,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “SHIP workplace wellness initiatives can help create an environment that encourages employees to practice healthy behaviors, which reduces their risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.”

In Goodhue County, employers have been working with us to create sustainable workplace wellness initiatives.  We collaborate with them and connect them to the tools and technical assistance they need to be successful.  Through our collaborative process, employers learn about strategies that support breastfeeding moms and help employees quit smoking, eat healthier, get more physical activity and manage stress. 

To learn more about our efforts or to join, email Megan Roschen, Live Well Goodhue County Co-Coordinator.