In 2017, Washington County conducted a series of focus groups with community members with the intent of assessing the impact income on mental health and physical activity. The goal of the focus groups was to hear from individuals who may be experiencing disparities in these areas and initiate a conversation on the conditions, causes, and potential pathways towards health equity.
Eating right is easier with healthy food options close at hand. That’s why Family Pathways recently transformed the way it showcases healthy foods at its Forest Lake Food Shelf, which serves over 7,000 individuals per year. The new design and layout encourages clients to make better choices by improving the visibility and presentation of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean proteins.
With women comprising 76% of the workforce, Forest Lake Area Schools wanted to ensure nursing mothers returning to work had access to the space and resources needed to continue breastfeeding. Initially, supports were only implemented in Anoka County schools, but within a year, Forest Lake Area Schools made a commitment to implement breastfeeding supports district-wide.
LHWC supports breastfeeding through two SHIP strategy areas – Health Care and Worksite Wellness. Measureable progress has been made in each of these areas to the great benefit of mothers, babies and families in the county.
Community leaders in Oakdale celebrated the opening of a child care natural play space project at Miniapple International Montessori School in Oakdale Sept. 26. The play space was created with support from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), with assistance from Washington County.