Thursday, April 18, 2013
On April 1st, 2013, a smoke-free policy went into effect at Park Apartments in St. James, MN. The policy includes all units, common areas and provides provisions that exclude tobacco use within 25 feet of the building. Linda Blackstad, Executive Director for the St. James HRA/Park Apartments felt it was essential to provide education to the residents on the benefits of the new policy. "The health and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority. A smoke-free building is safer and contributes to a better living environment" she said. An educational session as held on January 16 with several residents in attendance. They were surprised to learn about the 4000-7000 toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke and want others to know they are breathing in these chemicals when around smoke.
Starting April 1st. Park Apartments in St. James are telling residents to put out their cigarettes. The adopted policy bans smoking in all apartment units. Residents will be allowed to smoke on the patio and about 25 feet from the front door.Bonnie Frederickson says, "It creates a healthier and safe living place for the residents." Frederickson is a registered nurse and now works as a community specialist with the local SHIP project. During today's workshop she explained how secondhand smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals which can affect heart and respiratory functions.
The apartment staff says they forward to this change not only for the health benefits but also because the turnover will be much faster and cheaper. They say it can cost up to $3,000 to fix up a unit if the renter was a smoker. Linda Blackstad says, "When we have a smoker who is moving out we have often have to pull the carpet, scrub all the woodwork and we paint and it gets expensive the blinds everything needs to go out."
Residents who are supportive of this policy are not only looking out for their own health, but for the health of their friends and family that visit them. Kay Lang says, "I think it's great, other people who smoke heavily, they are not going to their it's so great, but I can't worry about them. I want to make sure when my grandsons come here they aren't inhaling smoke."
In addition to the tenant education, a celebration was held to kick-off the smoke-free policy at Park Apartments in April! Here are some photos from the event!
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 1:30 PM
CJFMW in its effort to strengthen the tobacco cessation skills of health care providers and reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, an American Lung Association (ALA) “Freedom from Smoking” Facilitator Training was held in St James on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. This day long training provided tools to help smokers develop a plan of action leading to quit day and providing the support they need to remain smoke-free.
The trainer was Erin Simmons, Program Manager, from ALA of Minnesota. Registration materials were sent to area health care providers in the five county region. SHIP offered to pay the tuition of $100 per person for those attending. Three health care providers- 1 health coach from Sanford Jackson, a private psychological counselor, and a LPN from the Windom Area Hospital attended along with one MSU Community Health Intern and Bonnie Frederickson, CJFMW SHIP Community Specialist. Each person attending received the training, a comprehensive facilitator manual, and sample participant packet.
Those that attended commented on the value of the training and how it will better equip them with the skills and materials to work with their clients who use tobacco and want to quit. Attendees were very appreciative of having our SHIP project offer this program and hope it can be offered again so more health care providers can attend. They also thanked Erin Simmons for sharing her skills and insights to implement the program in the settings where we work.
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 10:57 AM
On Wednesday March 20th, Fairmont Area Schools held a Youth Wellness Council meeting and our main focus was Community and School Gardening. Fairmont Area Schools has created a Youth Gardening Program and we felt the Youth Wellness Council would be the perfect group to kick start this program! We asked the students how they felt about gardening and the excitement began! The students came up with a long list of flowers and vegetables that they would like to garden. A Master Gardener from the U of M Extension came to the meeting to help discuss what can be gardened within Minnesota and provided many tips and tools for gardening in small plotted boxes! It was fun to see how excited the students became when we brought up the topic of gardening and how familiar they already were with the different types of seeds. Our next meeting we are hoping it will be warmer so we can place the plots down on school grounds!
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 10:31 AM
On February 12th Madelia ECFE hosted a Family Fun Night. Families who participate in Madelia ECFE were invited to attend the Family Fun Event. This night was filled with activities from the LANA (Learning about Nutrition through Activities) and IMIL (I am Moving I am Learning) programs. Families who participate in Madelia ECFE were invited to attend the Family Fun Event. SHIP hosted two trainings last summer on these curriculums to help improve nutrition and increase physical activity among childcare settings. Madelia ECFE showed how affective these trainings were and how implementation of these curriculums has been sustainable. Traci Henry of Madelia ECFE set up stations for Parents and their children to taste test recipes from LANA. They had a bagel station with veggies and fruit but the biggest hit was the sweet potato smoothie! Once taste testing was completed the IMIL activities began! Parents and Children were dancing and moving all around. We had one facilitator comment “I don't know who enjoyed it more....the kids or the adults."
Here is the Sweet Potato Smoothie Recipe!
(Tastes like Pumpkin Pie!)
2 tbsp. OJ
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup mashed canned sweet potatoes
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Mix in blender, makes 4-1/2 c. servings.
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 10:26 AM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
On February 14, 2013 many of the students at Southwest Star Concept Elementary School in Heron Lake were dressed in red, not only because it was Valentine ’s Day, but also to commemorate Jump Rope for Heart. Southwest Star Concept Elementary School hosted Jump Rope for Heart activities in cooperation with the American Heart Association. This was the 15th year the school has participated, and the elementary students raised $2348 to support the American Heart Association’s work to fight heart disease. In addition to their fundraising, the students participated in jump rope activities. Kindergarten through fourth grader students got their hearts racing at jump rope stations and in contests, where one student jumped rope nearly 300 times without stopping. The fifth and sixth grade students worked together in groups for a couple weeks developing jump rope routines. On Valentine’s Day, those students presented the routines to the student body and community members who came to watch. Posters that the students made were hung throughout the school to express the importance of heart health and exercise.
The event is a good reminder for children to stay active, keep their hearts pumping vigorously and to have fun with exercise. Donna Cook, Physical Education Teacher at Heron Lake-Okabena Elementary hosted the event and was proud of the children and their jump rope routines and fundraising efforts. Cook is leading the efforts at the HLO Elementary to increase physical activity among all children and to develop a comprehensive physical activity program within the district.
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 7:40 AM
Friday, March 1, 2013
The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs in Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan counties are working to reduce obesity among children by increasing physical activity, encouraging better nutrition and reducing screen time. In partnership with SHIP, WIC will be distributing activity kits to promote physical activity. The program is modeled after the evidence based curriculum programs that address childhood obesity- I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL) and Learning about Nutrition through Activity (LANA). WIC nurses will distribute a series of four activity kits on a quarterly basis to families with children ages 3-4 years old. The kits contain resources and tools for children to be more physically active and to help parents find creative, innovative and low-cost ways to be active with their children. Some of the tools and resources included are refrigerator magnets with a list of parks, pools, playgrounds and Community Ed and Recreation (CER) programs in their county, a narrated music CD called “Music Moves Me”, parent brochures to combat common food dilemmas, brochures that offer creative and imaginative play ideas, as well as some tools to engage children in play, such as sidewalk chalk, ribbon wands, beach balls and rhythm sticks.
The goal of the initiative is to encourage children to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and to reduce sedentary behaviors and screen time among 3-4 year olds. WIC hopes that the physical activity will begin to create behavior change among families and children at an early age. By encouraging families with small children to build the foundation for an active lifestyle, children will reduce their risk for chronic disease and eliminate risk factors that contribute to chronic disease. Research shows the earlier physical activity is established with kids, the larger the impact on curbing obesity. WIC is just one step in the comprehensive plan to influence physical activity and health eating among children. Children will also be exposed to IMIL and LANA through childcare, and also be influenced to be physically active and eat well after starting Kindergarten through SHIP at School strategies!
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 7:52 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Since its inception this past Fall, Madelia Active Living Coalition has moving full speed towards a more walkable/bikeable community. The committee, which includes a broad community membership, is looking at several ways to improve pedestrian travel throughout the city of Madelia. Here are some highlights of their progress:
- Partnering with community members and the local school district to develop a SRTS program which includes development of a community-led walking school bus program as well as completing a needs assessment to ensure adequate number of crossing guards, painted crosswalks and safety mechanisms, such as removing on-street parking on Main Street next to the school.
- After completing their walkability assessment, the coalition learned there has been no sidewalk construction in the community in over 80 years, resulting in unsafe conditions for pedestrians. As a result, the group has identified 3 different routes through the community they plan to create a “sharrow” or shared roadway to encourage more safe pedestrian travel. In addition, the group will work with the city to ensure adequate street light to improve safety.
- The assessment also identified a lack of bike parking and the group plans to improve bike parking as well as bike education in partnership with the school district, law enforcement, hospital and Coughlan publishing company during National Bike to School Day in May.
- Partner with the county to develop a 5-10 year trails plan connecting the community with the county trail system.
- Partner with Chamber of Commerce to develop a path across the park to ensure community members have more direct access to community assets (such as the pool).
Posted by SHIP - Cottonwood, Jackson, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties at 12:48 PM