Live Well Goodhue County, the local initiative of the Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, is now accepting mini-grant applications from area organizations that are interested in improving the health of our residents by increasing physical activity, increasing access to healthy eating options, supporting breastfeeding, living tobacco-free and may be used to assist with COVID-19 related safety issues.
Mini-grants are available to communities, day cares, schools, businesses, non-profits, faith communities and other organizations. Initiatives should focus on changing established systems to make it easier to make healthy choices, incorporating health into organizational policies and changing the environment so it supports walking, bicycling, healthy foods and clean air.
Those interested in applying are encouraged to visit our Grant Guidelines & Application page to review requirements and to apply. Deadline to apply is Saturday, August 30, 2020.
Tobacco 21 in Minnesota
On May 16, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a bill raising our state tobacco sales age to 21. The new state law reinforces the federal Tobacco 21 law signed by President Trump in December of 2019, and will allow state and local units of government to conduct compliance checks and ensure the law is being followed.
“Minnesota’s Tobacco 21 effort started with a few concerned residents and physicians and has grown into 75 local policies and thousands of youth, parents and supporters across the state united behind raising the tobacco age,” said Molly Moilanen, Vice President at ClearWay MinnesotaSM and Co-Chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation. “Thank you to Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan for listening to Minnesota’s youth and working with them to take on an industry that continues to profit from addiction and disease. It will take a bold, comprehensive effort to truly combat the health crisis of youth vaping, and Tobacco 21 is a very important first step toward this goal.”
The Tobacco 21 bill (HF331) gained strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and was championed by lawmakers from across Minnesota. Congress passed national Tobacco 21 in December 2019, and the discrepancy between the state tobacco age (18) and federal law (21) was causing confusion and tying the hands of local law enforcement. In addition to aligning with the federal tobacco age, the bill updates relevant state tobacco definitions, penalties and signage requirements to ensure strong compliance and enforcement.
Raising the tobacco age to 21 will help keep tobacco products out of schools, since there are many 18-year-olds but few 21-year-olds in high school social circles. Nearly 95% of addicted adult smokers started before 21. The National Academy of Medicine estimates that Tobacco 21 would lead to enormous health gains, including a 25% reduction in smoking initiation among 15-to-17-year-olds.
Action was needed to combat rising youth tobacco use. The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey found that more than a quarter of 11th-graders and more than 1 in 10 8th-graders used e-cigarettes in the past month. From 2016 to 2019, 8th-grade vaping rates nearly doubled. E-cigarette use has erased two decades of progress to reduce youth tobacco rates and the U.S. Surgeon General calls youth vaping an epidemic. Health experts are concerned about e-cigarette use because nicotine in any form harms the developing adolescent brain and can prime youth for addiction to cigarettes and other substances.
The COVID-19 pandemic added urgency for adopting stronger tobacco prevention polices. Early studies have found COVID-19 may be particularly dangerous for people with lungs weakened by chronic disease, asthma and tobacco use.
Walking & Bicycling Explosion: Coronavirus Fuels Resurgence!
It’s fun, freeing, socially distant and good for you! It's no wonder walking and bicycling have soared in Red Wing, across Goodhue County and Minnesota during the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March.
For many, walking and bicycling have become a symbol of freedom in the pandemic – an opportunity for mental as well as physical release from the confines of lockdown life. While this resurgence of walking and bicycling is great for our health and the environment, it could potentially increase the number of pedestrians and bicyclists hit and injured in crashes with vehicles. Safety is a shared responsibility. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists need to do their part to ensure a safe and fun summer for all.
• Look for cars in all directions – including those turning left or right – before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.
• Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.
• Enhance your visibility at night. Walk in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective, such as stickers or armbands, to be more visible.
• Avoid distraction. More and more we see people texting or talking on cell phones when crossing streets; this diminishes the ability of your two key senses – hearing and seeing – that are used to detect and avoid cars. So especially when crossing streets, put down the phone for a few seconds.
• Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road; obey signs and signals.
• Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.
• Watch for cars backing up in parking lots; brake lights can mean that a car is about to back up.
• Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.
• Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.
• Wear a helmet. It could save your life.
• Use a light and reflex mirrors or reflective clothing when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.
• Ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.
• Obey all signs and signals. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.
• Use all of your senses – watch and listen for cars, particularly at intersections and drive ways.
• Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones or answering phones when riding
• Motorists need to be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists, drive at slower speeds, avoid distraction, and know the laws regarding when pedestrians or bicyclists have the right-of-way.
• Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
• Give a bicyclist at least 3 feet of space when passing, or you may completely enter the left lane if conditions are safe to do so.
• Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
• Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians or bicyclists.
• Slow down in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians, such as near bus stops, schools, and playgrounds.
• Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up.
• Keep an eye out for pedestrians at night that may be walking near or across the road.
• Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices. Talking and texting while driving is both dangerous and illegal.
Here are three ways parents can help educate their children (and themselves) on how to be safe walking and bicycling this summer:
• Walk! Bike! Fun!
In May, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN), along with Minnesota Safe Routes to School and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) released distance learning guides in English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish, focused on safe walking and bicycling for educators, students, and families. The Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety curriculum aims to teach children ages five to 13 skills to walking and biking safely, and the distance learning guides include a variety of methods to complete the lessons and activities depending on access to resources like a bicycle or a printer. Check it out .
• Virtual Bike Rodeo
Every year our local Police Departments and/or other organization in Goodhue County host a Bike Rodeo where kids can learn about bike safety, practice bike skills and win fun prizes. Due to the coronavirus, all in person bike rodeos were canceled, but that didn’t stop the Red Wing Police Department. This year, they are hosting a Virtual Bike Rodeo. Families can go to the RWPD’s Facebook page to watch a weekly safety tip, then go outside and have their kids practice what they've learned. Parents are encouraged to record or photograph their youngsters (age 10 and younger) demonstrating each bike safety for a chance to win a brand new bike. Videos/pictures can be submitted on a form that will be made available during the last week of June for a drawing will be held on July 4th.
Be active, eat healthy and live tobacco-free. For more information on walking, bicycling and Live Well Goodhue County, contact David Anderson at 651-385-6148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Us for Living a Resilient Life!
Live Well Goodhue County is available to provide individual workplace wellness assistance to any organization or business in Goodhue County. Our goal is to help you and your employees make policy, systems, and environmental changes focused on healthy eating, breastfeeding support, active living, tobacco-free living and stress management. We also have mini-grant funding available to help support your workplace wellness initiatives! Please reach out to Kacie Iverson at email@example.com if you would like more information.
Mother’s Gift Milk Depot
Imagine being able to save sick and premature babies by doing something you do daily. Breast milk is one of the fastest ways for babies to gain weight, reduce the amount of time in the hospital, and get the antibodies and nutrients they may otherwise not be getting from formula. 72,000 babies are not able to get milk from their mothers each year. Half of their milk has to come from a milk bank in order for them to survive. The MN Milk Bank for Babies helps thousands each year because someone like you decided to donate.
Do you produce extra breast milk and want to help save lives?
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will pay for you to get the necessary screenings and blood draws to see if you are eligible to donate breast milk. Once you have become an approved donor, you will be given an official donor number to label your milk. As soon as you have saved at least 100 mL of milk, bring it to the Mother’s Gift Milk Depot, located at Goodhue County Health & Human Services, 426 West Ave. Red Wing, MN 55066. The Red Wing location will open when the Goodhue County Health & Human Services building is open to customers. Get started today by contacting MN Milk Bank for Babies at 763.546.8051.