Washington County Public Health and Environment co-hosted an event with the Metro Food Access Network (MFAN) to showcase the important work happening in Washington County to increase access to healthy food for all residents. The event brought together over 100 individuals from healthcare, food shelves, farmers markets, nonprofits, government, and the community to learn about food access through an engaging panel of expert speakers and interactive food system stations.
Part of the larger statewide effort to make long lasting economic and health impacts in Minnesota, Living Healthy in Washington County works with community leaders, employers, schools, and health care professionals to create health-friendly policies and resources that make it easier for residents to incorporate healthy actions into their daily routines. Learn more about our work in 2018.
Living Healthy in Washington County is working to help our youngest residents get off to a healthy start in life. In April 2018, we partnered with Parent Aware and Washington County Community Services to learn more from child care providers in Washington County. Providers in child care centers and in-home settings were asked how they promoted healthy habits with children in their care, and if providers were interested in expanding these healthy practices.
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.